George Michael passes away at 53

26 Dec 2016 | Written by NewsBytes Desk; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

British pop sensation George Michael died at his home in Goring, England, aged 53 years old; authorities called the death "unexplained but not suspicious" and said a post-mortem would be conducted in due time.

His family said he "passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period."

His publicist clarified that he was not ill at the time of his death.

In context: George Michael's last Christmas

IntroductionGeorge Michael

George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, on 25 June 1963.

He was involved in music from an early age and met his Wham band-mate Andrew Ridgeley in high school, having connected over a common aspiration to be musicians.

His career peaked in the 80s-90s with numerous hits including "Careless Whisper", "Last Christmas" and "Wake me up before you go-go."

CareerFrom Wham to solo acts: George Michael's career

George Michael first rose to success with his former school-mate Andrew Ridgeley after they formed Wham in 1981; the band produced several chart toppers and their debut album was UK #1 in 1983.

By 1987 he started his solo-career and also began collaborating with other artists including stalwarts like Aretha Franklin and Freddie Mercury.

His solo-career sky-rocketed him to new heights in the 1990s.

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Wham was the first Western band to play in China

In April 1985, Wham played at Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou in China, becoming the first ever Western pop band to perform in the country. They beat other hopefuls, including music legends like Queen and The Rolling Stones.

ControversyControversies galore

In 1998, he was arrested for "engaging in a lewd act" in a public restroom in California; the incident was the first time his sexuality was questioned in public; he admitted to being gay later and even wrote a song about the incident.

He also admitted to being an abuser of marijuana and prescription-sedatives and has been arrested several times for possession of drugs.

AwardsGeorge Michael: Awards and accolades

George Michael has sold over 100 million records world-wide; he has seven #1 singles (UK) and eight #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 (US); Billboard magazine even ranked him the 40th-most successful artist to ever live.

He has three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards and eight Grammy nominations.

26 Dec 2016George Michael passes away at 53

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08 Mar 2017Singer George Michael died of "natural causes"

Over two months after his death, George Michael's post mortem report has confirmed that he died of a heart and liver disease, ruling out the necessity of an inquest due to "natural cause of death".

His death certificate listed dilated cardiomyopathy, myocarditis and fatty liver as the causes.

An initial post mortem had remained "inconclusive", but police had said his death wasn't suspicious.

30 Mar 2017George Michael gets private funeral

Three months after his abrupt demise on the day of Christmas, George Michael's funeral took place on Wednesday.

His family said it was a small, private ceremony which was attended by family and close friends.

In the statement issued, they also thanked Michael's fans for their support and messages of love.

According to his latest report, Michael suffered from heart and liver disease.