Pop music superstar George Michael dead at age 53

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FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, British singer George Michael in concert to raise money for AIDS charity Sidaction, in Paris, France. George Michael's spokeswoman says the singer is "resting" after receiving hospital treatment for an undisclosed ailment. The Sun newspaper reported Thursday, May 29, 2014, that ambulances were called to Michael's London home on May 22 and the former Wham! singer was taken to a hospital. Spokeswoman Connie Filippello confirmed that Michael was discharged on the weekend "and is well and resting." She said that "given the personal nature of this matter there will be no further comment." (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

LONDON (AP) — 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 Sunday. He was 53.

Michael died at his home in Oxfordshire, England on Christmas.

Michael enjoyed immense popularity early in his career as a teenybopper idol, delivering a series of hits such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” ”Young Guns (Go For It)” and “Freedom.”

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances, the BBC reported.

As a solo artist, he developed into a more serious singer and songwriter, lauded by critics for his tremendous vocal range.

Michael, with startling good looks and an easy stage manner, formed the boy band WHAM! with his school friend Andrew Ridgeley in the early 1980’s. Helped by MTV, the cheerful duo easily crossed the Atlantic to become popular in the United States.

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