The singer – who rose to fame with band Wham! before selling more than 100 million records during his solo career – ‘passed away peacefully’ at his property in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire shortly before 2pm yesterday, Joinfo.com reports with reference to Daily Mail.
The singer – whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.
Michael’s former manager Michael Lippman claimed he had died in bed as a result of ‘heart failure’.
His Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John have lead the tributes to the star on social media.
Posting on Twitter, musician Ridgeley wrote: ‘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.’
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.
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.’
Thames Valley Police said officers were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, shortly before 2pm on Christmas Day.
A spokesman said: ‘Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage, the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.’