The death of 1980s pop icon George Michael left his fan base shocked and saddened by the sudden news on Sunday.

Michael, who was 53, was found dead at his home in Oxfordshire, England, CNN says.

"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," Michael's publicist said in a statement. "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 was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, on June 25, 1963. The son of a Greek restaurateur, he grew up in Kingsbury, London, and met his Wham! partner, Andrew Ridgeley, while attending Bushey Meads School.

Michael began deejaying at local clubs and he and Ridgeley formed a short-lived band called The Executive. But it was their success with their duo group Wham! that skyrocketed them to fame in 1981. Their first album, "Fantastic," hit number one on charts in 1983 with several hits including "Young Guns," "Wham Rap!" and "Club Tropicana."

The group's second album, "Make It Big," also achieved number one success in both the United Kingdom and in the United States with the hits "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Freedom," "Everything She Wants" and "Careless Whisper."

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