In news which has sent shockwaves throughout the music industry tonight, George Michael's publicist has confirmed that the much-loved British singer has died.
It has been established that the star, who rose to fame as part of Wham! in the 1980s, 'passed away peacefully' this afternoon.
Releasing a statement to the press and public, the late singer's publicist said: "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."
"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
The public have taken to Twitter in their thousands to mourn the passing of the much-celebrated entertainer.
Bloody heck 2016! This has been some year for all the wrong reasons. RIP George Michael. A singing legend. #GeorgeMichael
— Fergal O'Brien (@FergalOBrienTV3) December 25, 2016
RIP #GeorgeMichael cannot believe you've been taken from us too. let your soul rest peacefully and your music live forever.
— Elisa Lopez (@xmdxlili) December 25, 2016
I wondered to myself the other day if 2016 would pass without another great leaving us. It didn't. RIP #GeorgeMichael
— Zane (@zanemusic) December 25, 2016
George, who battled ill health in recent years, was just 53 at the time of his passing.