British singer George Michael has died at 53 on December 25, reports the BBC. According to a statement from his publicist, Michael "passed away peacefully at home" in Oxfordshire, England. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Michael's manager Michael Lippman confirms the cause of death was heart failure.
"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 representative said in a statement to the BBC. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
After news of his passing, an outpour of tributes to the late artist surfaced on social media. Elton John grieved in an Instagram post, writing: "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist." Other artists, celebrities, and politicians paid their respects, reflecting on his impact in pop music and the LGBTQ+ community. "Sad to hear that George Michael has died," leader of the U.K. Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter. "He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers' rights."
George Michael was the former vocalist of Wham!, the dance-pop duo behind the hit "Last Christmas." Michael was also a hugely successful solo artist; his first single being the 1984 song "Careless Whisper." His 1987 debut solo album Faith bowed at No. 1 on the charts, with six top five singles. During his life-spanning music career, Michael released 9 No. 1 albums and sold over 100 million records.
In 2011, Michael had to postpone concert dates after being hospitalized for a case of "pneumonia." However, his latest release was the Symphonica live album from 2014, which went gold in the U.K. Earlier this month, It was reported that him and producer Naughty Boy were working on a new project together.