UPDATE: Monday, December 26 at 12:15 p.m. EST
It has been confirmed that George Michael died of heart failure, according to a statement Billboard reported from the singer's manager, Michael Lippman. The BBC was the first to report Michael's death.
In a statement to Billboard, Lippman said, “I'm devastated.” Billboard reports that he received a call on Christmas morning notifying him that Michael had been found “in bed, lying peacefully.”
Lippman told Billboard that the death by heart failure was unexpected.
ORIGINAL POST: Sunday, December 25 at 7:00 PM EST
George Michael, British pop icon and former member of the duo Wham!, has “passed away peacfully at home,” according to his publicist.
The singer was just 53 years old, and first rose to fame during his time in Wham! with childhood friend, Andrew Ridgeley. He later went on to have a successful solo career, which spanned nearly three decades.
As of now, there is no information on the cause of his death, but police say there was no suspicious activity.
Notable songs from Michael's career include “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Faith,” “Careless Whisper,” “Freedom,” and his cover's of Elton John's “Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.”
He was also known for his popular Christmas song, “Last Christmas,” which he performed with Wham!.
Over his career, George Michael sold over 100 million records, and reached the top of the charts with his singles and albums on numerous occasions.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, he was most recently working with songwriter Naughty Boy on a new album. Authorities reported to a Call from Oxfordshire around 1:42 local British time, where the artist lived.
In an official statement from his publicist via BBC:
“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.”