Elton John and Andrew Ridgley lead the tributes to singer George Michael

The former Wham! frontman passed away on Christmas Day

George Michael, Wembley,

Image: George Michael on stage in 1986 for Wham's last sell out concert at Wembley Stadium, London. PA Wire/PA Images

Singer George Michael passed away on Sunday at the age of 53.

In a press release, his manager Michael Lippman stated that the singer had "passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period."

According to PA, Lippman stated that the former Wham! frontman is believed to have suffered a heart failure. Thames Valley Police said officers were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2pm on Christmas Day.

"At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious," a spokesperson for the force said. "A post-mortem will be undertaken in due course."

The news was greeted with huge sadness on social media. Elton John lead the tributes to the late star, posting on Instagram that he was in shock at the loss of a "beloved friend."

 

The pair famously collaborated on a rendition of Elton's classic 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me,' released in 1992.

Former bandmate Andrew Ridgley took to Twitter to pay his tribute, saying he was "heartbroken" at the loss.

Boy George also shared his thougts, stating on his Twitter account that: "He was so loved and I hope he knew it because the sadness today is beyond words. Devastating. What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent."

Friends and fans alike posted their favourite tracks or their lasting memories of the star, as the news spread.

While fans pointed out how young the singer was when some of his biggest hits were released, including 'Careless Whisper' and 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,' many also shared his version of the Queen song 'Somebody to Love.'

Michael performed the song for a tribute concert after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991, and here, in this clip highlighted by Guardian journalist Simon Ricketts, he prepares for the concert and proceeds to "blow a rehearsal room away," including the late David Bowie, who can be seen in the background.