Global singing sensation George Michael, who gave the music world evergreen tracks like “Last Christmas” and “Careless whisper”, died on Christmas day following heart failure. His celebrity friends and fans across the globe wondered what an irony it was that 2016 turned out to be his last Christmas.
Michael, 53, was found dead at his home in Oxfordshire, England, on Sunday. Michael’s former manager Michael Lippman claimed he had died in bed as a result of heart failure, reports dailymail.co.uk.
The police are describing the death as “unexplained but not suspicious”.
His Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John led the tributes to the star on social media, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Ridgeley 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”.
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. George Michael RIP.”
Ace Indian musicians like A.R. Rahman, Papon Angaraag, KK, Nikhil Chinapa, Adnan Sami and Bollywood actors and filmmakers like Karan Johar, Richa Chadha, Manoj Bajpayee, Arjun Rampal and Twinkle Khanna reminisced the “Wake me up before you go-go” hitmaker’s influence during the 1980s and 1990s as he was among the pop reigning stars at the time.
Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham! who were known for their hits “Club tropicana” and “Last Christmas”.
The singer — whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou — sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades. His death comes as he planned to work on a new album with UK producer Naughty Boy.
While enjoying a glittering career, Michael endured a turbulent personal life and nearly died from pneumonia while on tour in late 2011. He had also struggled with drug addiction and admitted that during one period he was smoking 25 joints a day. In 2008, he was caught smoking crack cocaine in a public toilet.
Last month, Michael was reported to have rekindled his friendship with the man he declared the love of his life, Kenny Goss. The couple was together for 13 years before their split in 2009.
Michael’s last tweet was in September, but last month, a post on his Facebook page said he was “busy putting the finishing touches to his special documentary film ‘Freedom’.”
As the world comes to terms with the loss of one of its greatest pop stars, celebrities took to Twitter to share their grief.
Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson and Bryan Adams among others mourned the death of Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter.
Many tributes to Michael referred to deaths of other ace musicians in 2016, starting with David Bowie in January, singer Prince and Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt.