Tearful fans have laid tributes outside the home of pop superstar George Michael after he died ‘peacefully in his bed’ yesterday aged 53. The singer – who sold more than 100million records with band Wham! and during a hugely successful solo career – is said to have passed away at his property in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on Christmas Day afternoon. Former manager Michael Lippman said he had died in bed as a result of suspected heart failure and there was ‘no foul play whatsoever’. Police are treating the death as ‘unexplained but not suspicious’. Final photos of the star from earlier this year show him looking overweight and tired and a neighbour said he looked ‘haggard’ and much older than his years when she last saw him in a restaurant.
Michael’s Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John have led the tributes to the star on social media. Mr Ridgeley tweeted: ‘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. A xx’
Meanwhile Elton John posted a heartfelt message along with a picture of the pair together on his Instagram page. He wrote: ‘I am in deep shock. 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.’