LONDON - British pop star, George Michael, the musician who first shot to fame with the 1980s duo Wham! has died at 53 years old.
"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," said the statement which was released by Britain's Thames Valley Police.
Wham! scored big with hits such as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Careless Whisper."
Michael went on to a successful solo career; his 1987 debut album "Faith" sold more than 10 million copies. Many of his hits with Wham! and as a solo artist, are still well-known decades later.
"At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious," Thames Valley Police said in a statement.
The agency said police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 pm on Sunday and confirmed the death of a 53 year old man at the scene.
Condolences poured in on social media.
Andrew Ridgeley, the other half of Wham!, expressed his grief on Twitter, saying he was "heartbroken."
Singer Bryan Adams tweeted: "Such an incredible singer and a lovely human being, far too young to leave us."
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres said Michael "was such a brilliant talent. I'm so sad."
Singer Elton John said he "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."
The two-time Grammy Award recipient's career spanned several decades, during which he "became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers," said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy, which awards the Grammys.
"From the enormous success he achieved with pop duo Wham! to his influential solo career, his extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever," Portnow said the statement.
He was Gay
Michael in 1998, Michael told CNN in an exclusive interview that he was gay.
"This is as good of a time as any," he told CNN's Jim Moret then.