Pop superstar George Michael dies of suspected heart failure aged 53:
Singer George Michael, who rose to fame during the 1980s as part of the pop duo Wham!, has died. He was 53.
Michael, who shot to fame as the front man of Wham! in the 1980s, died peacefully at his home in Oxfordshire, his publicist said.
His manager Michael Lippman said the cause of his death was heart failure, according to the Associated Press.
Thames Valley Police said officers were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm on Christmas Day.
The force said: “Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene.
The two-time Grammy Award recipient’s career spanned several decades, during which he “became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy, which awards the Grammys.
“From the enormous success he achieved with pop duo Wham! to his influential solo career, his extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever,” Portnow said the statement.
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 was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, apologized to his fans for the alleged incident. He said he hoped they would stand by him.
In her condolences, pop star Miley Cyrus tweeted: “Thank you for your radical activism in the LGBTQ community!”