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#Entertainment : Deep Shock for Star System :George Michael died at 53 ! ( photos)

'I am in deep shock. I have lost a close friend.' Emotional Elton John and Boy George lead star-studded tributes to George Michael after he dies aged 53




Elton John, Boy George and Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley have paid tribute to George Michael, after he tragically died on Christmas Day aged 53.

They joined a host of shocked A-listers like Martin Fry, Ricky Gervais and George's 80s peers Duran Duran and Spandeau Ballet in commemorating the iconic Wham! frontman.

Elton, 69, said he was 'in deep shock', while Andrew, 53, grieved that he was 'heartbroken' at the loss of his 'beloved friend' in an emotional Twitter post. 




                                                                               



Devastated: Elton John has paid tribute to his close friend George Michael in an emotional post after his tragic death on Christmas day aged 53


Tragic: Elton led a host of shocked celebrities in commemorating the Wham! singer, admitting that he was in 'deep shock'

Elton shared an Instagram snap with George, and wrote: '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 and all his friends.'

Andrew added on Twitter: 'Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music at large. 4ever loved. A xx'.

Late Sunday night, singer Boy George tweeted: 'I am thinking of @GeorgeMichael's family, friends and fans right now. He was so loved and I hope he knew it because the sadness today is beyond words. Devastating.

'What a beautiful voice he had and his music will live on as a testament to his talent. I can't believe he is gone. I hope the Buddha will hold him in his arms. NMRK.'

George 'passed away peacefully' at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire at 1.42pm today, according to his publicist.

Michael had previously battled drug addiction. However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown.


Grief-stricken: Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley, 53, said that he was 'heartbroken' at the loss of his 'beloved friend Yog' (pictured with George) 

                                                 


Firm friends: Elton and George, who have duetted together, were extremely close in the 1980s

George Michael and Boy George are pictured together performing at a concert in London in 1987

Singer Boy George paid tribute to George Michael on Twitter late Sunday evening 


                                                                             


Sad: Geri Horner was also quick to pay tribute to her close friend, sharing an emotional Instagram snap of her hugging George




Martin Fry, lead singer and songwriter with Look Of Love band ABC, said on Twitter: 'Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent sad sad sad.'

Contemporaries Duran Duran referenced the so-called 'curse of 2016' - which has seen the deaths of rock and pop behemoths David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt, with their post.

They penned on their official Twitter account: '2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family.'


Never forgotten: Geri previously said George was the 'only celebrity friend' she had, apart from the Spice Girls


George 'passed away peacefully' at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire at 1.42pm today, according to his publicist


Farewell: Queen of Pop Madonna is shocked to have lost another of her peers in 2016 after David Bowie and Prince

Geri Horner was also quick to pay tribute to her close friend, sharing an emotional Instagram snap of her hugging George. 




The former Spice Girls singer wrote underneath: 'So so sad, RIP George, a dear friend, the kindest, most generous and talented person. My thoughts are with his family.'

Geri previously said George was the 'only celebrity friend' she had, apart from the Spice Girls.

The pregnant singer told The Sun: 'I have long chats with him, he's like a brother. In the past I've played my music to him and sometimes he'd tell me it's s**t and other times it's great.

'He's very normal when you talk one-on-one with him.'

Holly Johnson, lead singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, said: 'Sad to hear the news about George Michael , and so many great singers and songwriters we lost this year.'

Music contemporaries Spandau Ballet said: 'We are incredibly sad at the passing of our dear friend George Michael. A brilliant artist & great songwriter.'

Simply Red said: 'Its hard to take in. One of our most talented singer songwriters has left us. RIP George Michael. Such sad, tragic news. 2016 please end.'

Matt Goss, singer in the band Bros, said: 'George Michael was part of the tapestry of my life. His songs his lyrics & his melodies, True pop royalty! Heartbroken, RIP dearest George.'

Chic founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers said he with the tragic pop star days before he died.


Pop legend: George - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades (pictured with Andrew Ridgeley)

He said: 'This is so crazy. I was just at his house the morning of the 23rd. So crazy.'

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to Michael's dedication to equality campaigning.

He said: 'Sad to hear that George Michael has died. He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers' rights.'

LGBT charity Stonewall tweeted their sadness at the news, writing: 'R.I.P. George Michael. You inspired many and your music will live on in the hearts of the community. You will be sorely missed x.'

TV personality James Corden said: 'I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.'

This year's X Factor winner Matt Terry said: 'Noooooooooooooooo! I cannot believe this !!!! RIP George Michael'.

Matt Lucas, who worked with the singer during a sketch for BBC comedy Little Britain, said: 'Well 2016, you had to just take one more, didn't you?'

Entrepreneur and television personality Duncan Bannatyne said: 'George Michael has now been taken by the curse of 2016. Please make him the last. RIP.'

While former Radio One disc jockey Tony Blackburn said: 'Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP.This dreadful year goes on and on.So sad, a real talent.'

Former X Factor winner Shayne Ward said: 'Absolutely shocked to hear that one of my vocal idols @GeorgeMichael Has passed away. I adored his voice.'


Music industry greats: Duran Duran said it was the 'loss of another talented soul' after George's death (pictured Simon le Bon with George at Wham's final concert)


The passing of a legend: Everyone from Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon to actor Richard E. Grant paid tribute

80s pop star Howard Jones, known for the song I'd Like To Get To Know You Well, said: 'Can't believe George Michael has passed ....one of the greatest singers and writers the UK ever produced. I'm really saddened ..a lovely man.'

Star Trek actor William Shatner said: 'Is this year over yet? Too many people are passing away. Rest In Peace, George Michael.'

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: 'Very sad to hear the news about George Michael. An incredible talent who brought joy to millions of us with his music.'

Fellow politician Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, said: 'This is just too awful. Such an amazing talent gone too soon. Wham was part of the soundtrack to my teenage years.'

Singer and stage actress Pixie Lott said: 'Grew up listening to the beautiful and talented @GeorgeMichael - my mama's favourite! was a pleasure to meet him so sad to hear the news.'

Fellow pop star La Roux said: 'Another one gone.... What a voice, what a songwriter.'

Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas.

The singer - whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou - sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.

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.


Musical icon: Michael, who was set to release a documentary in 2017, rose to fame as a member of Wham!, known for their hits Club Tropicana and Last Christmas

'The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.'

Michael nearly died from pneumonia in late 2011. After receiving treatment in a Vienna hospital, he made a tearful appearance outside his London home and said it had been 'touch and go' whether he lived.
                                                             

Doctors had performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for some of his spell in hospital.
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