Remembering music icon George Michael

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FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2012 file photo, British singer George Michael performs at a concert to raise money for AIDS charity Sidaction, during the Symphonica tour at Palais Garnier Opera house in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Iconic 80s singer-songwriter George Michael has died at the age of 53.

BBC reported that the star’s publicist confirmed the former Wham! singer’s death on Christmas day due to a heart failure.  

“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time,” the statement read.

The two-time Grammy winner found success with the band Wham! and continued his success as a solo artist.

Born, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, Michael has sold over 100 million albums throughout his career. 

His hits included "Faith" and "Freedom."

In 1998, he was arrested in Los Angeles for lewd conduct in a public bathroom after being spotted by a male undercover police officer. But after the matter became public, he stepped out as a gay man -- and remained popular, despite a series of health issues and substance abuse problems.

With the Associated Press