British pop singer and songwriter, George Michael, died at the age of 53, in his home in England on Christmas Day, reported USA Today. The news was confirmed by his publicist Connie Filippello, who added that the pop star had passed away peacefully in his sleep, due to heart failure and requested everyone to respect the privacy of the family during the emotional time.
Thames Valley Police has rendered the death as “unexplained but not suspicious”, The Hindu reported.
Michael, born as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in North London, rose to fame as the lead singer of pop band Wham! in the 1980s and became a heartthrob for the teenage population. Later on, he split to create an immensely successful solo career, winning numerous Grammy and American Music awards. He sold more than 80 million records worldwide in four decades of his career span.
Michael’s solo work centred the themes of sexuality and desire. After being caught in a lewd act in a public toilet in Los Angeles by an undercover policeman in 1998, he didn’t shy away from the exposure and came out with his sexuality in his single “Let’s Go Outside” which became a huge hit and a popular gay anthem for millions.
He later on came into the limelight in various controversies regarding substance abuse and drunk driving, which took a toll on his health. He had recently been planning a comeback with a documentary named ‘Freedom’ focused on his rise to fame, his legal battle with producer Sony for his contract and the making of his music video “Freedom ‘90’”.
Various stars such as Elton John, former Wham! Band mate Andrew Ridgeley, Madonna took to social media to express their grief.
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