Elton John, Andrew Ridgeley and More Stars Lead Tributes to the Late George Michael
The world is reeling from the news that British singer George Michael has died. He was 53.
According his rep, Michael was found dead in his home on Christmas Day.
“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,” Michael’s publicist said in a statement.
“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, the Recording Academy reflected on Michael’s career.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of two-time GRAMMY Award recipient George Michael,” President and CEO Neil Portnow said. “During an influential career that spanned nearly four decades, George became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers. From the enormous success he achieved with pop duo Wham! to his influential solo career, his extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever. We have lost a cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to George’s family, friends, and musical collaborators. He will be missed.”
Madonna shared her reaction on Instagram alongside a throwback award show post with Michael.
“Farewell My Friend,” she wrote “Another Great Artist leaves us. Can 2016 F— Off NOW?”
Michael’s Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley also shared a heartbreaking tribute.
See how other stars are reacting the tragic news below.
The musician, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, launched his music career in the 1980s as a band member of Wham! and later went solo with his 1987 release Faith.
During his almost four-decades of fame, the singer sold 100 million albums worldwide.
–with reporting by JEFF NELSON