>> Shocked and sad, fans gathering to mourn Wham superstar, George Michael, who died at 53 on Christmas day. Tributes stacked against the gate of his house in London, but, according to his publicist, he passed away peacefully at his Oxfordshire home. British police say the death is unexpected, but not suspicious.
Most here will agree he was one of the biggest pop names of the 1980s, and online it's a similar story. Celebrities leading the tributes, including Elton John, Bryan Adams, and former band mate Andrew Ridgeley.
Michael founded Wham with Ridgeley in 1981, launching what was to become the most successful pop duo of the time. They quickly became a hit with songs like Wake Me Up Before You Go Go and Last Christmas.
After splitting in 1986, Michael went on to become a successful solo artist, selling more than 100 million albums in his decades long career. His status as a sex symbol emerged from sexually provocative lyrics seen by many as risque for the era. After much speculation, he declared he was gay at the age of 34 and his support for LGBT rights.
In 2011, he was hospitalized for treatment of pneumonia. But earlier this month, he was reported to be working on a new album.