Singer George Michael dies at age 53

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George Michael has died, his publicist told the BBC.

He was 53.

His manager, Michael Lippman, said he died of heart failure, according to the Associated Press, although his manager, Cindi Berger, said he hadn’t been ill.

The English singer gained popularity in the 1980s as half of pop duo Wham!, along with Andrew Ridgeley, and then launched a successful solo career.

Michael sold tens of millions of albums and released several number-one singles.

His publicist sent BBC the following statement, saying he died at home:

“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.”

No cause of death has been reported, but police said it was not suspicious.

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