As previously reported, George Michael is dead at the age of 53.
The unexpected passing of this pop music icon was made public by Michael’s publicist on Sunday night, with Connie Filippello issuing the following brief statement to The BBC:
“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 family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
At the time of this sad announcement, most media outlets speculated that George Michael died of heart failure.
And this speculation has now been confirmed by the singer’s longtime manager, Michael Lippman.
“I’m devastated,” Lippman said told The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that he received a call on Christmas morning notifying him that Michael had been found “in bed, lying peacefully.”
The precise time of death is not known at this time, but there was “no foul play whatsoever,” says Lippman.
Expect funeral plans to be announced shortly.
While Michael had battled a few health problems over the years, this fatal incident of heart failure was not expected.
There was no signs in the days leading up to the artist’s death that he was gravely ill.
The Thames Valley Police, has referred to the the death as “unexplained but not suspicious,” sending The Hollywood Reporter a statement that reads as follows:
“Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene.
“At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course.
“There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place.”
Michael rose to fame in the 1980s as part of Wham!, the duo created with his good friend Andrew Ridgeley.
As a solo artist and as a member of this tandem, he was responsible for 10 number-one hits on the Billboard 100 chart.
Among his best known and most beloved?
“Faith,” “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try” and “Careless Whisper.”
Overall, Michael released five solo albums: Faith, Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1, Older, Songs From the Last Century (a covers/standards albums) and Patience.
He also came out with a pair of greatest hits sets.
His first live album, Symphonica, ended up being his final album; it released in 2014.
In the wake of his passing, an endless array of stars took to social media in order to express their condolences:
But great friend and frequent collaborator Elton John stands out, having recorded many times with Michael over the years and having admired him as a friend and as a singer.
“I am in deep shock,” he wrote on social media alongside a photo of the stars, adding:
“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. #RIP.”
We did not know Michael personally, but we also send along our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.
The world of music has lost yet another legend far before his time, when he had many years remaining to release many more influential singles and albums.
Moreover, Hollywood has lost yet another legend in general.
Click below for a tragic look at all the stars who died in 2016. May they rest in peace…