George Michael dead: Singer dies peacefully at home aged just 53
His publicist broke the news in a statement issued at 11pm tonight.
The statement said: “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.”
He has sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning four decades.
He began as one half of pop duo Wham! – but became famous in his own right with his debut solo single Careless Whisper.
His 1987 debut solo album Faith sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
He achieved seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits in the US.