George Michael Dead at 53
'Passed away peacefully at home'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2016 5:20 PM CST

(Newser) – With a week to go, 2016 got one more punch in: George Michael has died at age 53, his publicist says in a statement. "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." The Wham singer, born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, was the driving force behind more than 100 million album sales, per the publicist, and the BBC reports that there are no suspicious circumstances. In 2011, Michael canceled part of a world tour after a monthlong bout of pneumonia that he said at the time was nearly fatal.

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