Singer George Michael dies at age of 53

Looking Back: George Michael

LONDON — Singer George Michael has died at the age of 53, according to ABC News and BBC News.

The news organizations confirmed the news from the singer's publicist.

Michael had previously battled alcohol and drug addiction.  However, the circumstances around his death are currently unknown. The statement said the singer had "passed away peacefully at home."

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The singer was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou and became famous in the group 'Wham." Helped by MTV, the cheerful duo easily crossed the Atlantic to become popular in the United States.

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."

Michael sold more than 80 million records worldwide. His 1987 debut solo album, Faith, sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

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According to BBC News, it was announced that producer and songwriter Naughty Boy was working with Michael on a new album.

In 2011, Michael postponed a series of concerts after being taken to hospital for treatment for pneumonia, the BBC said. After 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 were said to have performed a tracheotomy to keep his airways open and he was unconscious for some of his spell in hospital.

Fellow singer Elton John posted on Instagram sharing his words about the Michael.

"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 of his fans."