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News |  26 Dec 2016 11:33 |  By RnMTeam

Last Christmas for George Michael

MUMBAI: Singer and pop icon George Michael is no more. The superstar of the 80s, on whose songs an entire generation of fans grew up, passed away at 53 at his UK home on Christmas Day.

Born in London in 1963 as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, he first rose to acclaim as part of the duo Wham!. The band’s first album, Fantastic, released in 1983, was a smash in the UK. He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for 'I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me),' a duet with Aretha Franklin, and 'Faith' won the Grammy for album of the year.

A police statement said: "Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. 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."

Michael's manager, Michael Lippman, told The Hollywood Reporter that he had died of heart failure "in bed, lying peacefully." An ambulance reportedly was called to Michael's home at about 1.42 p.m. (local time) on Sunday afternoon, and local police said there there appeared to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.

In 2011, Michael was forced to cancel several concerts after being hospitalised for a very serious case of pneumonia.

"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," his publicist Connie Filippello said in a statement.

"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage," the statement further reads, reports

Michael has sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning four decades. He was one of pop's reigning stars in the 1980s and '90s and some of his popular singles includes 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' with Wham.

Michael had skyrocketed to fame with his childhood friend Andrew Ridgeley as members of the pop duo 'Wham' in the early 1980s.

After leaving that group, Michael launched a solo career that included huge hits such as 'Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1'.

Earlier, he had released 'Faith'. an album that Michael arranged, produced and wrote practically alone that went platinum four times over in the United Kingdom.