'Beloved Son, Brother and Friend' George Michael Finally Laid to Rest 3 Months After His Death
“We can confirm that the funeral of the singer George Michael took place today. Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother and friend,” a rep for the singer tells PEOPLE in a statement.
“George Michael’s family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support. We ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion. No further details will be released.”
A source tells PEOPLE Michael was buried in London at Highgate Ceremony next to his beloved mother, Lesley, who died 20 years ago. Those in attendance at the service included ex Kenny Goss, boyfriend Fadi Fawaz, and Wham!‘s Andrew Ridgeley, Helen ‘Pepsi’ DeMacque-Crockett and Shirlie Kemp.
The burial comes almost three weeks after the legendary singer’s cause of death was revealed to be dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, according to the senior coroner for Oxfordshire, Darren Salter.
Dilated cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart, occurs when the left ventricle stretches and fails to effectively pump blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. As the muscle becomes weaker, heart failure can occur. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart usually caused by a viral infection.
As the death was determined to be the result of natural causes, Thames Valley Police stated that they would close the related investigation.
“The investigation into the circumstances of the death has now concluded and a file was passed to the Coroner. As the cause of death was natural, no further action is proposed or required,” authorities wrote on Facebook. “No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.”
The initial autopsy, completed on Dec. 30, was revealed to be “inconclusive” in a statement released by the Thames Valley police.
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It had previously been speculated that Michael had died of drug-related complications – with some even raising questions about Fawaz’ role in the singer’s death, despite Thames Valley Police treating it as “unsuspicious” from an early stage.
Fawaz slammed these “nasty comments,” in tweets posted soon after the cause of death was revealed.
“The Truth is out…” he captioned a smiling photo of the couple in happier times.
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Michael suffered many health issues in recent years, though. In November 2011, the “Careless Whisper” singer was hospitalized for pneumonia. One year earlier, he was involved in a car accident and arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana.
Michael sold 100 million albums worldwide during his nearly 40 years in the spotlight, and has won a slew of awards. However, the star also fell on difficult times with multiple arrests as well as battles with depression and drug use.
- With reporting by PHIL BOUCHER and SARA NATHAN