It was confirmed today that George Michael, the popular singer and former member of the group Wham!, has died at the age of 53. Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, his hits with the group Wham! included the chart-topper “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” and he went on to perform hits like “Faith”.

Michael’s publicist confirmed the singer’s passing to the BBC, stating that the singer “passed away peacefully at his home”. The statement went on to say, “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 statement also added, “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

During his career Michael had several run-ins with the law, and suffered from depression and battled drug-use throughout his career. James Corden was won of the first celebrities to reach out on social-media. Corden Tweeted to his followers, “I’ve loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.” Fellow singer Bryan Adams added, RIP George Michael. I can’t believe it. Such an incredible singer and a lovely human being, far too young to leave us”.

Sony also released a statement following Michael’s death. The label stated, “George Michael was a supremely gifted artist and a true music icon. Sony Music had the privilege to have worked with him over several decades on a number of his legendary releases, and we join the world in mourning the loss of a great superstar. Our condolences go out to his family during this difficult time.”

Elton John also reached out to fans on Instagram, saying, “I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans.”