On Christmas Day 2016, BBC News reported some sad news: Iconic British singer George Michael has passed away at age 53. The former Wham member famously sang the holiday classic "Last Christmas" and, as a solo artist, he was known for his popular music through the '80s and '90s. How did George Michael die? BBC News reported that the singer "passed away peacefully at home" in Oxfordshire. The artist's publicist confirmed the sad news at 11 p.m. local time in England, according to The Mirror. Update: The Hollywood Reporter reports that George Michael's long-time manager confirmed that the singer died of heart failure, and was found in his home on Christmas morning.
The Thames Valley Police sent THR the following statement: "Thames Valley Police were called to a property in Goring-on-Thames shortly before 2 p.m. Christmas Day. Sadly, a 53-year-old man was confirmed deceased at the scene. At this stage the death is being treated as unexplained but not suspicious. A post mortem will be undertaken in due course. There will be no further updates from Thames Valley Police until the post mortem has taken place."
Update, March 7: According to the coroner's statement via People, "There is a confirmed natural cause of death, being Dilated Cardiomyopathy with Myocarditis and Fatty Liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further enquiries. No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy."
Earlier: "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," said the statement. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage." According to the BBC, police said there were no suspicious circumstances and an ambulance was called to a house in Goring in Oxfordshire, which is about an hour outside of London.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, George Michael battled drug and alcohol addiction throughout his life and survived a serious bout with pneumonia in 2011, which left him unconscious — but it is not currently clear if either are related to the singer's death.
Once the cause of death is revealed, this post will be updated.
In 2014, The Mirror reports that George Michael said about drugs, “I’ve completely stopped. I have decided to change my life and I haven't touched it for well over a year and a half now.”
George Michael first became famous as one-half of the duo Wham in the 1980s, and then he went on to have a wildly successful solo career. His solo debut single "Careless Whisper" is still an undeniable classic from the album Faith, which also spawned the hits "Faith," and "Father Figure." Over the course of four decades, the singer has sold over than 100 million albums throughout his career, according to the The Daily Mail.
George Michael's death is another devastating loss for pop culture and the icon will be sorely missed.