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George Michael is dead at 53

Pop singer George Michael, known as half of the 1980s duo Wham!, has died at 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,” his publicist told the BBC. No further details were released.

MORE: James Brown died in Atlanta 10 years ago today

George Michael through the years

Deadline noted Michael was born "Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in 1963 North London to a Greek Cypriot father and an English mother."

Michael had previously battled alcohol and drug addiction.  However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown. The statement said the singer had "passed away peacefully at home."

Michael enjoyed immense popularity early in his career as a teenybopper idol, delivering a series of hits such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Young Guns (Go For It)" and "Freedom."

Michael sold more than 80 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

His sudden passing quickly trended on Twitter:


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Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for