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Music legend George Michael dies at his home on Christmas Day, age 53.

Earlier this year we lost the likes of Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohan. Today, 2016 has seen the loss of another music legend: Sir George Michael.

The 53-year-old’s publicist this morning announced that the former Wham! singer “passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period”.

“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time,” the statement read. “There will be no further comment at this stage.”

According to the BBC, Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended his property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 local time.

Police have told the outlet that the singer’s death is currently unexplained, but is not being treated as suspicious.

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Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, Michael sold more than 100m albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

He first found fame as one half of 1980’s pop sensation Wham!, before embarking on a solo career that launched chart-topping hits such as Faith and Freedom.

A documentary film was also due for release next March in which the singer would be reunited with the stars of the iconic Freedom music video: supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz.

Earlier this month it was announced that Michael was working on a new album featuring a collaboration with UK producer/songwriter Naughty Boy.

Michael’s personal life provided frequent fodder for the gossip pages over the years, including his heavily reported 1998 arrest for engaging in “lewd acts” in a Los Angeles public toilet.

The incident forced the singer to go public with his sexuality, an issue that he had touched on in the 1996 album Older and that had intensified his ongoing struggles with depression.

The singer told The Advocate in a 1999 interview that it was his relationship with businessman Kenny Goss that helped him finally accept that he wasn’t bisexual.

“I thought I had fallen in love with a woman a couple of times,” he said. “Then I fell in love with a man, and realised that none of those things had been love.”

He and Goss split in 2011.

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