08:23 British singer George Michael dies aged 53: British pop singer George Michael, who rose to fame with the band ‘Wham!’ and sold more than 100 million albums in his career, has died aged 53, his publicist said today.
‘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 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 publicist said.
Michael was due to release a documentary in 2017 after years of living as a virtual recluse in which he hit the headlines for a series of bizarre incidents linked to drugs.
‘2016 – loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to George Michael’s family, the band Duran Duran, which were 1980s contemporaries of ‘Wham!’, said on Twitter.
Former BBC Radio One disc jockey Tony Blackburn said: ‘Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP. This dreadful year goes on and on. So sad, a real talent.’
Several iconic British musicians have died in 2016 including David Bowie in January and Status Quo guitarist Rich Parfitt, who died in a Spanish hospital on Saturday. — AFP