George Michael
British singer George Michael performs on the first night of the British leg of his tour at the MEN Arena in Manchester, northern England, Nov. 17, 2006. REUTERS/Phil Noble

George Michael, the former Wham! frontman known for hits such as “Careless Whisper” and “Last Christmas,”, died on Christmas Day at the age of 53. The British singer died at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England.

While Michael’s publicist Cindi Berger said that the singer was not was ill, his manager, Michael Lippman said that the cause of death was heart failure.

“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,” Berger reportedly said. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, rose to fame with his band Wham!, which he left in the 1980s to start a solo career. Several of his songs, including “Faith,” “Father Figure” and “Freedom” went on to become chartbusters. He sold more than 100 million records throughout his career. His most recent album “Symphonica” was released two years ago.

Following are some of Michael’s quotes throughout his music career:

“I have the audience I deserve. Or at least I have the audience that represents the kind of people that I like.”

“I think the media is a real demon.”

“The fact I had my father as an adversary was such a powerful tool to work with. I subconsciously fought him to the degree that I drove me to be one of the most successful musician in the world.”

“Everything was going my way. I was happily marching into the history books. Then it all just fell apart.”

“I never minded being thought of as a pop star. People have always thought I wanted to be seen as a serious musician, but I didn't, I just wanted people to know that I was absolutely serious about pop music.”

“I went through a long period where I was afraid of doing things I wanted to do, and you get your courage back, which is what's important.”

“Even though it’s become a really cliched thing to see musicians working for charity, it's still effective and it still has to be done.”

“I would advise any gay person that being out in the real sense can never happen too soon.”

“I don't have joy in watching myself, whereas, actually, I quite like listening to my own music.”

“Stars are almost always people that want to make up for their own weaknesses by being loved by the public and I'm no exception to that.”

“I do want people to know that the songs that I wrote when I was with women were really about women. And the songs that I've written since have been fairly obvious about men.”