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George Michael

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Singer-songwriter George Michael has passed away at age 53, his publicist confirmed to the BBC.

The Brit began his career back in the 1980s with the successful band Wham! and then became a household name after he left the group to start his solo singing career.

His publicist told the publication that Michael "passed away peacefully at home."

The statement continued, "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peaceful 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."

Thames Valley Police told the BBC that a South Central Ambulance Service responded to a property in Goring in Oxfordshire earlier today.

They also released the following statement which gave a bit more background on the situation at hand:

"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."

Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, had an award-winning career in the music industry than spanned for nearly forty years. He was also said to have sold more than 100 million albums all throughout his illustrious career.

Michael went through a near-death experience back in 2011 when he suffered from a severe case of pneumonia.

Doctors in Vienna performed a tracheotomy in an effort to keep his airways open while he was unconscious.

At the time, Michael explained to press in a statement that things were "touch and go" during his recovery.

Michael's longtime manager, Michael Lippman told The Hollywood Reporter that he was found "in bed, lying peacefully" and that died of heart failure.

The Recording Academy released the following statement in the wake of Michael's death:

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of two-time Grammy Award recipient George Michael. During an influential career that spanned nearly four decades, George became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers.

"From the enormous success he achieved with pop duo Wham! to his influential solo career, his extraordinary talent had a profound impact on countless entertainers worldwide, and his creative contributions will live on forever. We have lost a cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to George's family, friends, and musical collaborators. He will be missed."

Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this time.

—Additional reporting by Holly Passalaqua