British Pop Star George Michael Dies Aged 53

British Pop Star George Michael Dies Aged 53
George Michael, the star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and achieved massive success as a solo performer, "passed away peacefully" in Goring, Oxfordshire, England on Sunday. 

A police statement read:

“Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. 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.”

Michael’s manager, Michael Lippman, told The Hollywood Reporter that Michael had died of heart failure “in bed, lying peacefully.”

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“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,” George's  manager, Connie Filippello, explained in a statement. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

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Michael was one of the leading pop stars of the '80s and '90s,  first introducing lighthearted singles like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go as a smiling teen-pop idol with Wham!, and later arriving as a mature pop icon with his 1987 album Faith. 

However, Michael grew increasingly uncomfortable with the superficiality and relentless promotion of the 1980s style pop stardom. He shied away from video clips and live shows and set out to make more mature statements in his songs, though he never gave up singing about love and desire.

He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me), a duet with Aretha Franklin, and his album Faith won the Grammy for album of the year. In England, he was awarded multiple awards, amongst the many Britain's Radio Academy in 2004 said he had been the most-played performer of British radio from 1984 to 2004.

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The worldwide 1984 hit Careless Whisper credited in Britain to George Michael solo and to Wham! featuring George Michael in the United States. Additionally Michael's status as top British pop star was confirmed by his appearance on Band Aid's, Do They Know It's Christmas, the Ethiopian famine relief.

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In 1986, Wham! concluded, with a farewell show at Wembley Stadium. Michael had a No. 1 hit with I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me) before releasing the album Faith in 1987. The first single, I Want Your Sex, reached No 2 in the United States.

To summarise Michael's career,

“I never minded being thought of as a pop star,” the pop icon told GQ in 2004. “People have always thought I wanted to be seen as a serious musician, but I didn’t, I just wanted people to know that I was absolutely serious about pop music.”