Singer-songwriter George Michael has passed at away. He was 53.
An ambulance arrived at his home in Oxfordshire, England at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Christmas Day where the singer was pronounced dead, according to the BBC. Michael's publicist confirmed the news shortly afterwards in a statement, with an official cause of death not yet released.
"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."
The Thames Valley police who found the singer ruled the death, "unexplained but unsuspicious," but will not publish further details until a full post-mortem examination has taken place.
George Michael first came to public attention as part of the pop group Wham! in the 1980s, performing iconic tracks like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and the Christmas classic, "Last Christmas." Michael then went on to have a very illustrious solo career. He's sold over 100 million albums, won two Grammy Awards and is ranked as one of Billboard's most successful artists to ever live.
Most recently, Michael's music served as a critical plot point in the Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele comedy, Keanu. It was announced that Michael was back in the studio working with producer Naughty Boy on a new album. His documentary, entitled Freedom, was also slated to be released next March.
"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, friends and all of his fans," said Elton John of the late singer on Instagram.
R.I.P. George Michael. You inspired many and your music will live on in the hearts of the community. You will be sorely missed x pic.twitter.com/tjXqkArahj— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) December 25, 2016
I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016
Had the pleasure of knowing George Michael in the 80s. Voice of an angel. Now he can sing for them.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 26, 2016