Stars including Madonna and Robbie Williams pay tribute to the late Wham! singer

Singer and 80s  pop icon George Michael has died at his home at the age of 53.

The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and had huge success as a solo performer, ‘passed away peacefully’ on Christmas Day in Goring, Oxfordshire, his publicist said.

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His manager, Michael Lippman, said he had died of heart failure.

Former Wham! bandmate said he was ‘heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend’.

Since the news, tributes to the iconic singer have poured in, including from life long friend Elton John

Other star tributes included:

Across the globe, fans and followers of Michael’s music were left heartbroken and also took to social media to pay their respects.

George shot to fame with close friend AJ as pop duo Wham! in the 1980s. They had hits including Last Christmas and Club Tropicana.

Michael then went solo and his 1987 album Faith sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Sadly, in the late 90s he later began facing headlines for reasons other than his music.

After years of refusing to be drawn on speculation about his sexuality, Michael disclosed he was gay in 1998 after being was arrested in a public toilet in Beverly Hills, California, for engaging in a lewd act.

The music video for the single that followed, Outside, featured a men’s bathroom transformed into a disco and policemen kissing.

In October 2006 he pleaded guilty to driving while unfit through drugs, and in 2008 was cautioned for possession of class A drugs, including crack cocaine.

In September 2010, Michael received an eight-week prison sentence following an incident in which he crashed his Range Rover into a shop in north London. He admitted driving under the influence of drugs and possessing cannabis.

His family released a statement which read:

‘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.’

May he rest in peace.