British superstar George Micheal has died at the age of 53.
“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 statement read. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Police released a statement saying that Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious”; in 2011, pneumonia almost claimed the spectacular vocalist’s life. Michael first made his mark in the mid-’80s as part of the handsome pop duo Wham before going on to a hugely successful solo career; he was, in fact, the most-played performer on British radio between 1984 and 2004. After coming out as gay in the late ’90s, Michael became an ardent supporter of AIDS prevention and gay rights.