George Michael performs on stage, wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses, on the Faith Tour, at Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rob Verhorst/Redferns

George Michael has died at the age of 53 of a heart failure, the BBC reports. "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," his publicist wrote. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage." 

Sources state South Central Ambulance Service went to his property in Oxfordshire at 1:42 GMT and "there were no suspicious circumstances." Michael established himself as a music icon when he rose to fame in the early '80s as part of Wham! with schoolmate Andrew Ridgeley. The duo released their debut album Fantastic in 1983 and were known for hits like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Careless Whisper." 

The singer then embarked on a solo career in 1987 with his debut Faith release, and created timeless classics like "I Want Your Sex" and "Freedom." Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in North London, Michael has five solo records under his belt (his last one being 2004's Patience) and sold more than 100 million albums worldwide. 

Relive some of the artist's greatest and beloved tunes below: