Musician George Michael has “passed away peacefully at home”, his publicist has said.

The 53-year-old singer, whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, rose to fame (along with Andrew Ridgeley) as a member of the popular 1980’s British musical duo Wham!, known for hits such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper,” and “Last Christmas.”

In a statement, the star’s publicist said: “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.”