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Published: Tue, December 27, 2016
World | By Tasha Manning

George Michael's Wham co-star Andrew Ridgeley pays tribute to his 'beloved friend'

George Michael's Wham co-star Andrew Ridgeley pays tribute to his 'beloved friend'

Michael's publicist has said that the singer "passed away peacefully at home".

"I am in deep shock".

I wrote in a piece ages ago about a celeb I'd worked with tipping a barmaid £5k because she was a student nurse in debt.

"George Michael's sweet soul music will live on even after his sudden death", McCartney wrote.

Eighties pop star Howard Jones, said: "Can't believe George Michael has passed.one of the greatest singers and writers the United Kingdom ever produced". His family and close friends have asked for privacy during this extremely hard time. "There will be no further comment at this stage", the publicist said in a statement.

It took Michael and his high school friend Andrew Ridgeley three years before their duo Wham! topped the United Kingdom and U.S. charts with this irrepressibly upbeat smash hit, inspired by a note Ridgeley wrote to his parents. In all, the singer had over 80 million albums sold worldwide.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you first to the doctors and nurses who saved my life and took such great care of me and to all my fans, family and friends for their love and support", The Sun reported him saying.

"My heart goes out to his family and all his friends".

The singer released several popular solo singles in the mid-1980s, gathering steam for a solo career that began after WHAM! disbanded in 1986. He won a Grammy Award in 1988 for I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), a duet with Aretha Franklin, and Faith won the Grammy for Album of the Year. A closer listen at the Rajesh Ramanath-composition shows that some of the beats closely resemble George Michael's Faith.

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Following early reports of Michael's death, Liam Gallagher tweeted: "It better not be true bout George Michael".

In 1998, he was arrested on charges of cruising for anonymous sex in a men's room in Beverly Hills. Five years after Outside was released, the controversial Section 28 - legislation banning the "intentional promotion of homosexuality" in Michael's native United Kingdom - was finally repealed, after being introduced in the same year that Wham broke up.

He said: "Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog".

"Everybody who's been important to me has been ripped away this year - David Bowie, Victoria Wood", Walkden added, referring to the late rock legend and a much-loved British comedian who both died in 2016.

British pop star George Michael performs during a concert at Wembley Stadium in London June 9, 2007.

"To me, you do the Christmas rounds and you see all those people who are big influences on my life".

When I saw your Calendar cover today about George Michael, "the reluctant pop star", my first reaction was he should thank the good Lord every morning when he wakes up to have all that he has., And that'll make two of us thanking God every morning for all that we have. Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London in 1963, and sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning nearly four decades. "He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers' rights".

George Michael was no stranger to the headlines.

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