Pop legend George Michael has died.
The former Wham! star died peacefully at his home on Christmas Day, it has been announced.
George Michael started his career as a member of the pop group Wham! in the 1980s, before pursuing a successful solo career, and has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.
In 1998, the star formally came out as gay, following a conviction for “engaging in a lewd act” in an Beverly Hills public restroom with an undercover policeman.
In his later years he courted controversy for his arrests for possession of drugs, and for his predilection for anonymous sex in public.
In a statement Michael’s publicist said: “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 family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
George Michael was 53 years old.