George Michael’s publicist confirmed that he peacefully passed away in his Oxfordshire home on Dec. 25, 2016, according to BBC News. He was 53 years old.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963, Michael’s career began as a member of the 1980s pop group Wham!. During his 40-years as a performer, he sold more than 100 million albums. His hits include “Careless Whisper” in 1984 and “Roxanne” in 1999 on the “Songs from the Last Century” album. One of his early hits was “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”
Before an arrest in Beverly Hills, California in 1998, there much speculation surrounding his sexuality. The arrest was for engaging in lewd behavior in a public restroom. It was not until 2007 that Michael explained that he felt like a fraud hiding his sexual preferences. NBC News reported that his disclosure was made to the Independent newspaper. The star believed that his arrest was a subconscious need to be caught.
The statement announcing Michael’s death, the publicist spoke of the family’s sadness of his passing. It is especially difficult that this happened during Christmas. The family asked that their privacy is respected during this difficult time and that there would be not further comment at this time.
Updates will be provided as information is released.
Written by Cathy Milne
BBC News: Ex-Wham! Singer George Michael dies
NBC News: Singer George Michael Dead at 53
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