Flowers are left outside the home where singer George Michael died. Music industry stars, including Michael’s Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley, take to social media to pay tribute.
GORING ON THAMES, ENGLAND, UK (DECEMBER 26, 2016) (REUTERS) – Flowers were left outside the picturesque Oxfordshire home of singer George Michael on Monday (December 26), where he died on Christmas Day.
The British singer, who became one of the pop idols of the 1980s with Wham! and then forged a career as a successful solo artist with sometimes sexually provocative lyrics, was 53.
His publicist said in a statement that he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
British police said Michael’s death was “unexplained but not suspicious.”
A note on a plant left by the front door to Michael’s Goring On Thames home read “Rest in peace with the angels.”
In the mid-1980s, Wham! was one of the most successful pop duos ever, ahead even of Simon & Garfunkel, with singles like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “Careless Whisper”, “Last Christmas” and “The Edge of Heaven”.
Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley took to Twitter to express his grief.
“Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved,” Ridgeley posted.
Responding to a quote his friend once said about music being one of the greatest gifts God gave to man, Ridgeley tweeted: “God didn’t give it, you did my old friend. Cleft with grief.”
“I am in deep shock,” said Elton John on Instagram. “I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.”
Michael’s death comes at the end of a year that has seen the passing of several music superstars, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. Rick Parfitt, the guitarist of British rock group Status Quo, died on Saturday at 68.
Madonna said on Twitter: “Farewell my friend. Another Great Artist leaves us. Can 2016 Fuck Off NOW?”
Producers Nile Rodgers and Mark Ronson also paid tribute on social media, with Rodgers revealing he was at Michael’s house two days before Christmas.
“I was just at his home the morning our last @CHICorg show on Dec 23rd in London. I’m stunned RIPGeorgeMichael. My heartfelt condolences. “RIPGeorgeMichael. You were an absolute genius,” he wrote.