Singer, performer, and 80’s music icon, George Michael passed away at home Christmas morning.
His former manager, Michael Lippman, stated he died of “heart failure”.
His publicist earlier Sunday stated the following:
“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.”
Over the past few years, George Michael, whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, battled a variety of health issues. Last year he received treatment for cannabis addiction in a rehab facility in Zurich. He battled a severe case of pneumonia in 2011, publically thanking the hospital that saved his life, telling reporters back then “It’s like I just dodged a bullet.” During this hospitalization he received a tracheotomy to assist his breathing. Rumors circulated that he was battling HIV but were never confirmed.
The former Wham front-man, who later launched a solo career in the mid 80’s, was additionally in a car accident in 2013 that threw him onto the highway at 70 mph, causing him to sustain head trauma, leaving a 5 inch scar on the back of his head.
In 2010 he served jail time for driving under the influence of a mixture of cannabis and prescription drugs.
Despite his tumultuous health issues, George Michael appeared relatively healthy. He was finalizing a tell-all documentary taking fans behind the music of his album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1.
His career spanned over 4 decades and he sold over 100 million albums worldwide.