The renowned singer George Michael has passed away today, December 25th, at the age of 53. The former Wham! singer reportedly passed away peacefully in his home, as confirmed by George Michael’s publicist.

An official statement reads: “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.”

George Michael got his start with Wham!, releasing a number of hits throughout the 1980’s. Michael would then go on to enjoy a successful solo career, with his debut solo effort Faith selling 20 million copies worldwide. With seven #1 singles in the US and eight in the UK, Michael is considered to be one of the most successful artists of all time.

Aside from a major comeback tour that spanned 2006-2008, George Michael remained relatively quiet in the 2000’s. He had another scheduled Symphonic tour in 2011, but ultimately was forced to cancel the tour due to complications from pneumonia. It is unknown if symptoms from the previous condition were related to Michael’s untimely death, but it is confirmed that no suspicious circumstances were involved.

George Michael will remembered most of all for his music, leaving behind a legacy of music spanning over thirty years. Our thoughts are with the singer and his loved ones during this emotional period. Rest in peace.