Kenny Goss, the man with whom George Michael spent 13 years and once intended to marry, says he is grief-stricken by news of the singer's sudden death

By Adam Carlson
December 26, 2016 04:34 PM

Kenny Goss, whom George Michael dated for 13 years and once intended to marry, says he is grief-stricken after the British singer’s sudden death this weekend.

Describing Michael as his “dear friend and longtime love,” Goss told PEOPLE in a statement. “I’m heartbroken. … He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much.”

Michael died Sunday at 53 from what his publicist told PEOPLE was heart failure. His passing shocked fans around the world and triggered a chorus of mournful celebrity reactions and remembrances.

“He was an extremely kind and generous man,” Goss said.

Goss and Michael began dating in the ’90s, after Michael emerged from a “deep black hole” of depression following the death of his first true love, Anselmo Feleppa.

Kenny Goss (left) and George Michael
Jean/All Action Digital/Retna

After years together, Michael announced he would marry Goss, saying at the time, “I think we’ll just do the formal legal thing and then we’ll have a party. But no one’s going to be getting into a dress! Neither of us has the body for it, you know.”

“I’m not very romantic about it to be honest,” Michael said. “I think Kenny probably would be if I let him, but it’s just not me.”

In 2011, though, Michael revealed he and Goss had split, saying then that his love life was “a lot more turbulent than I have let on.”

But speaking to PEOPLE, Goss had only good things to share.

“The beautiful memories and music [Michael] brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him,” he said.

Michael’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz, whom he began dating after splitting from Goss, said on Monday that he had discovered the singer’s dead body in bed.