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Pop superstar George Michael dies of heart failure at 53

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/26/2016 By GREGORY KATZ, Associated Press
FILE- In this June 25, 2008, file photo, singer George Michael performs during his "Live Global Tour" concert in Inglewood, Calif. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this June 25, 2008, file photo, singer George Michael performs during his "Live Global Tour" concert in Inglewood, Calif. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
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LONDON (AP) — British pop superstar George Michael, who led a troubled life despite his magnificent voice and enduring popularity with fans around the world, has died at the age of 53.

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, British singer George Michael performs at a concert to raise money for the AIDS charity Sidaction, during the Symphonica tour at Palais Garnier Opera house in Paris, France. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, British singer George Michael performs at a concert to raise money for the AIDS charity Sidaction, during the Symphonica tour at Palais Garnier Opera house in Paris, France. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Michael's manager, Michael Lippman, said Sunday that the cause of death was heart failure. Before Lippmann's announcement, police had issued a statement calling Michael's death at his home in Goring, England, "unexplained but not suspicious."

FILE - In this Saturday, July 2, 2005 file photo, British singer George Michael accompanied by other musicians and children from Africa wave to the crowds goodbye at the finale the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London. George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said on Christmas day, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis,File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Saturday, July 2, 2005 file photo, British singer George Michael accompanied by other musicians and children from Africa wave to the crowds goodbye at the finale the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London. George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said on Christmas day, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis,File)

The singer reached early fame with WHAM! and went on to a solo career lined with controversies and chart-topping hits that blended soul and dance music with daring social and personal commentary.

FILE- In this July 21, 2008, file photo, musician George Michael performs in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File) © The Associated Press FILE- In this July 21, 2008, file photo, musician George Michael performs in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File)

The loss of Michael continues a year of grief in the music industry, with David Bowie, Prince and Glenn Frey among those dying.

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, British singer George Michael leaves his house in north London, after recovering from a life-threatening bout with pneumonia that kept him in a Vienna hospital for a month. George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said on Christmas day, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis,File)

FILE - In this Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, British singer George Michael leaves his house in north London, after recovering from a life-threatening bout with pneumonia that kept him in a Vienna hospital for a month. George Michael, who rocketed to stardom with WHAM! and went on to enjoy a long and celebrated solo career lined with controversies, has died, his publicist said on Christmas day, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. He was 53. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis,File)
© The Associated Press
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