Singer George Michael died of heart failure at 53

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George Michael.
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Michael Putland/Getty Images

Singer George Michael has died at age 53, his publicist announced on Sunday.

The British performer “passed away peacefully at home” in Goring-on-Thames, England, the publicist said in a statement.

Michael died in bed of heart failure, according to his longtime manager Michael Lippman.

Thames Valley Police said Michael’s death is being treated as “unexplained but not suspicious.” An ambulance was called to a house in Goring, Oxfordshire at 1.42pm on Christmas Day, The Guardian reported.

“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,” a statement from Michael’s publicist said.

“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 statement continued.

Michael, born in 1963 as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, gained fame in the early 1980s as one half of the pop group Wham!, before launching a multi-platinum solo career that earned him two Grammy awards.

In his solo work, which veered toward R&B, Michael found his own kind of massive success, including the hits “Faith” and “Freedom ’90.” He sold more than a hundred million records throughout his career, and became one of Britain’s biggest musical superstars of the 1980s and 1990s.