George Michael is dead at 53. The pop icon passed on Christmas Day; official cause of death remains unknown. So far, police have only issued a vague statement.
The following is a developing story. Last updated: December 25th, 11 pm PT.
George Michael, an icon of 80s pop and a tabloid favorite for decades, is now dead. The singer was found dead on Christmas Day, apparently after suffering from heart failure. The singer-songwriter was not known to be suffering from any known health conditions prior to the sudden death, though alcohol and drug abuse were recurring themes.
The singer was found dead at his home in Goring, England. He was unresponsive and declared dead at the scene at roughly 2 pm local time.
At this stage, Thames Valley Police have not confirmed the cause of death. The family, however has issued a brief statement on the matter:
“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.”
That statement doesn’t address the cause of death, raising suspicions of what happened. Immediately following the news, longtime George Michael manager Monte Lippman cited ‘heart failure’ as the ultimate killer.
The singer wasn’t suffering from any previous illnesses, according to George Michael’s publicist, Cindi Berger. That raises suspicions that drugs or alcohol prompted the death. In multiple earlier incidents, the singer was found abusing both alcohol and prescription sedatives, often at the same time. In multiple instances, Michael actually passed out in his vehicle, all of which suggested a serious problem.