Singer George Michael has died.
“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,” a rep for the singer said in a statement to Access Hollywood on Saturday. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963, in London. He was 53.
The singer rose to international superstardom in the 1980s in the pop group Wham!, alongside Andrew Ridgeley.
The group’s first album, “Fantastic,” was released in 1983.
Their sophomore effort, “Make It Big,” was released a year later and included the hits, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” and “Careless Whisper.”
Michael became a successful solo artist, also in the 1980s. His first solo LP, 1987’s “Faith,” spawned the hits “Faith,” “Father Figure,” “Monkey” and more.
— Jolie Lash