Popstar George Michael was found in his bed and his former manager said he died as a result of ‘heart failure’
The singer – who sold more than 100million records with band Wham! and during a hugely successful solo career – is said to have passed away at his property in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire shortly on Christmas Day afternoon.
Former manager Michael Lippman said he had died in bed as a result of suspected heart failure and there was ‘no foul play whatsoever’. Police are treating the death as ‘unexplained but not suspicious’.
Final photos of the star from earlier this year show him looking overweight and tired and a neighbour said he looked ‘haggard’ and much older than his years when she saw him in a restaurant.
He has not been photographed publicly since September and is understood to have lived a reclusive existence, with locals in his Oxfordshire village rarely seeing him leave his home.
Michael’s Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John have led the tributes to the star on social media. He tweeted: ‘Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx’
Meanwhile Elton John posted a heartfelt message along with a picture of the pair together on his Instagram page.
He wrote: ‘I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.’
A number of examples of the star handing out money to people he thought were in trouble have emerged since his death, including a secret £25,000 donation he gave to a woman he saw on Deal Or No Deal who wanted IVF.
Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He was best known in the 1980s and 1990s with his style of post-disco dance-pop, with best-selling songs such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go“.