Photo: AP

George Michael, who began his career in the ’80s singing in Wham! and went on to have a successful solo career in pop music, died peacefully at his home in Oxfordshire at the age of 53 on Sunday. Michael sold more than 100 million albums over a career spanning four decades.

Condolences and fond farewells are already pouring in for the late English performer, whose hits include “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Club Tropicana”.

Michaels had previously struggled with various forms of substance abuse. The circumstances of Michael’s death are not well known, save for a statement from his publicist:

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“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.”

R.I.P. George and this awful year that has taken many a brilliant star from us.