The singer George Michael died “peacefully” at his home on Christmas Day at the age of 53.
Elton John posted a moving tribute on Instagram.
Madonna lamented how many losses the music world has suffered in 2016.
Duran Duran mourned Michael on Twitter.
So did Mariah Carey:
The surprise news left the world of celebrity reeling, especially as the month of December saw a string of sad celebrity deaths and tragedies, from Alan Thicke dying to Carrie Fisher suffering a massive heart attack (on Christmas Day, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, tweeted that her daughter was stable, but the family has released very few details on Fisher’s condition.)
Although it’s not yet clear how Michael died, police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Michael’s death. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, police said his death was unexplained, and his manager says he died of heart failure.
“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,” a statement from Michael’s publicist read. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
The year 2016 also saw the deaths of David Bowie and Prince. George Michael’s real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou.
George Michael was lauded not only as a musician, but as a role model for the LGBTQ community. People said he was a role model to people in the gay community in the 1980s especially, when people were struggling for acceptance.
Celebrities responded swiftly on Twitter with tributes to Michael, who started his career in the 1980s with the group WHAM! and then switched to performing solo.
Sarah Michelle Gellar confused George Michael with Boy George. Boy George is still alive. Other people on Twitter were similarly confusing Boy George and George Michael.
Michael’s specific cause of death has not been released.
Here are some of the celebrity and fan reactions to Michael’s death:
Michael had suffered from pneumonia in the past, cancelling a tour in 2011.
Read more about his cause of death here: