Wham! star George Michael has died
(CNN)British pop star George Michael has died, his family said in a statement. The musician, who shot to fame with the 1980s duo Wham!, was 53 years old.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” the statement said.
Wham! scored big with hits such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Careless Whisper.”
Michael went on to a successful solo career; his 1987 debut album “Faith” sold more than 10 million copies.
Britain’s Thames Valley Police said they were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday and confirmed the death of a 53 year-old man at the scene.
In a statement, the agency said: “At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.”
Condolences poured in on social media.
Russell Crowe tweeted: “RIP George Michael”
Singer Bryan Adams tweeted: “Such an incredible singer and a lovely human being, far too young to leave us.”
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres said Michael “was such a brilliant talent. I’m so sad.”
Singer Elton John said he “lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans.”
I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP
In 1998, Michael told CNN in an exclusive interview that he was gay.
“This is as good of a time as any,” he told CNN’s Jim Moret then. “I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years.”
Michael’s comments came shortly after he was booked for an investigation of misdemeanor lewd conduct and released on $500 bail. The singer was alone in the restroom of a Beverly Hills park when an undercover officer saw him allegedly commit the act.
Michael, whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, apologized to his fans for the alleged incident. He said he hoped they would stand by him.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/25/entertainment/george-michael-death/index.html