Earlier today, we reported the unfortunate news that pop music icon George Michael had passed away at the age of 53, after suffering from a heart failure. While his death was certainly unexpected, there is no foul play suspected, as the Hollywood community and fans around the world are in mourning at this devastating loss. As fans begin the grieving process, we have compiled a number of statements and tributes that have been sent out through social media over the past 24 hours, since the musician's untimely passing was announced.
One of the first to pay tribute to this late musician was his collaborator in the 1980s pop group Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley. Both George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley attended high school together, before forming Wham! in 1981. The group skyrocketed to fame with their 1984 album Make It Big, which was certified 6x platinum and included the smash hit singles "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Freedom." Here's what the musician had to say on Twitter below, referring to his childhood nickname Yog.
"Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. #GM had a voice that would transport u, he was the finest singer/songwriter of his generation & has left the best of himself 4 us. RIP GM."
George Michael would go on to have an incredibly successful solo career, with his first album "Faith" debuting in 1987, featuring the hit single "I Want Your Sex," which was quite controversial at the time. His follow-up album "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1" arrived in 1990, with Vol. 2 debuting in 1992. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide throughout his career, and became a staunch advocate for LGBT rights, after coming out as a homosexual in 1998. One of his close friends was another legendary musician, Elton John, who sent out this tribute after news of George Michael's death spread.
"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, friends and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP"
What some fans may not know is that, aside from a hit musical career, he also inspired what has become one of late-night TV's most beloved sketches. Back in 2011, George Michael appeared in a sketch on BBC One's Comic Relief with James Corden, in what would become the first ever Carpool Karaoke video. After James Corden became the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015, the host made it a regular sketch, singing with a number of film, TV and music icons during his daily commute. Take a look at just some of the numerous Twitter tributes to the late George Michael below, including Madonna, Ryan Reynolds. Mariah Carey and Stephen King, just to name a few.
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Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx https://t.co/OlGTm4D9O6— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 26, 2016
God didn't give it, you did my old friend.— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 26, 2016
Cleft with grief.
A xx https://t.co/yPzbB3rDGE
Farewell My Friend! 🙏🏻 Another Great Artist leaves us. 💔Can 2016 Fuck Off NOW? pic.twitter.com/aEGIUNSJbt— Madonna (@Madonna) December 26, 2016
Oh God no …I love you George …Rest In Peace x— Robbie Williams (@robbiewilliams) December 26, 2016
George Michael - 'You Have Been Loved'. https://t.co/U7n14sntxV— David Walliams (@davidwalliams) December 25, 2016
I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016
George Michael wrote Praying for Time 25 years ago but I truly believe it's message means more now than ever. https://t.co/f03zlWYbLa— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016
George Michael was a kind and gentle soul. #Wham— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 26, 2016
A woman on 'Deal Or No Deal' told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 26, 2016
George Michael 💔😢 You were such an inspiration. I'm honored to have not only been your fan, but a friend as well. May you rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/jJKSz22fHH— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) December 26, 2016
So sad to hear about George Michael. Amazing talent and good man. RIP #GeorgeMichael— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) December 26, 2016
Thank you George Michael for being joyously flamboyant. You shined bright thru my pained adolescence & showed me a whole new world #freedom!— Mary Lynn Rajskub (@MaryLynnRajskub) December 26, 2016
So sad to hear of George Michael's passing, huge sympathy to friends and family. Particularly difficult time to lose someone. RIP.— Hozier (@Hozier) December 26, 2016
George Michael RIP. Your music lifted our spirits. Your heart was pure. Sad. You will be missed.— Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn) December 26, 2016
George Michael at the Apollo in '85 with Smokey Robinson who's so smooth he make glass seem like sandpaper. https://t.co/7L1BWYLSHq— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) December 26, 2016
I feel very sad and shocked to hear the news about George Michael today..— Annie Lennox (@AnnieLennox) December 26, 2016
He meant such a lot to the millions of... https://t.co/7DUy6IT3pl
Waking up to the sad news of George Michael's passing. An incredible talent taken far too soon. pic.twitter.com/MuTlPxEDSk— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) December 26, 2016
Another fine musical talent gone--RIP, George Michael. Spent Christmas evening dancing around to "Before You Go-Go." Damn you, 2016.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 26, 2016
So sad about George Michael. Truly one of the greatest songwriters.— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) December 26, 2016
this song made me want to learn how to have sex https://t.co/j3vpPDR7cu— el-p (@therealelp) December 26, 2016
10 Christmases ago today James Brown died. Today, George Michael... RIP...— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) December 26, 2016
Stunned. George Michael. A talented and gentle soul. May you rest in Gods love and Peace 🙏🏿 #RIPGeorgeMichael— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) December 26, 2016
I would not be the artist I am if it wasn't for you. @GeorgeMichael— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) December 26, 2016
Great music, stood up to bigotry & when his Mum died he held a free concert for the NHS nurses. Pure class. RIP George Michael— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) December 26, 2016
Such sad news about George Michael. #RIPGeorge— Louis Tomlinson (@InvisibleLT) December 26, 2016
So sad to hear that George Michael has passed away. We were both managed by LIPPMAN & KAHANE. What a tragic loss to a tremendous talent.— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) December 26, 2016
I just am so sad about @GeorgeMichael I can't even stand it. He was such a genius. He left us so soon. I Thank Him 4countless memories xo— Carnie Wilson (@CarnieWilson) December 26, 2016
A beautiful Christmas with my boys but so saddened by the passing of George Michael -and extraordinary talent -— GAVIN ROSSDALE (@GavinRossdale) December 26, 2016
So missed RIP X
Trump is elected, Prince is gone, Bowie is gone, now George Michael...— CRAIG BREWER (@MyBrewTube) December 26, 2016
F*ck you 2016! I mean it! F*ck you!
So sorry to hear about George Michael's passing. Brilliant icon. "Kissing a Fool" one of my all time favs. Strength & light to his family.— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 26, 2016
This Christmas is beautiful yet sad as I remember @GeorgeMichael and his amazing talent and the beauty he created with songs.— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) December 26, 2016
"You'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart." ~George Michael #RIP— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) December 26, 2016
RIP George Michael. So sad, but his legacy will live on.— One Direction (@STYLATORARMY) December 26, 2016
R.I.P. George Michael...— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) December 26, 2016
Thankful for the music...
This year has just been too much.....RIP George Michael xxxx— Guy Pearce (@TheGuyPearce) December 26, 2016
absolutely devastated about george michael. what a fucked up way to end this year. rest in peace my friend....— Belinda Carlisle (@belindaofficial) December 26, 2016
Keanu was an expression of the love I have for George Michael and his music. I'm happy he got to see the movie, and I hope he's found peace.— Peter Atencio (@Atencio) December 26, 2016
Another beautiful talent taken away. Rest in power @GeorgeMichael. 2016 is just brutal. 😢— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) December 26, 2016
RIP George Michael. So good-humoured and self-deprecating when he joined us in Extras. 2016 just won't give us a break— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) December 26, 2016