George Michael
George Michael performed in concert at the Forum during his "Live Global Tour" in Inglewood, California June 25, 2008. He died at the age of 53. His cause of death wasn't immediately released. Reuters

Ex-Wham! singer George Michael died “peacefully” at home in Oxfordshire, Sunday. He was 53 years old. His cause of death is currently unknown.

“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,” his publicist told the BBC Sunday. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”

Even though his death is unexplained, the circumstances are not suspicious. South Central Ambulance Service responded to a call Sunday, Thames Valley Police said, according to the BBC.

Sir Elton John mourned Michael’s death on Instagram. “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 and all of his fans,” the “Rocket Man” singer wrote.

Michael, whose birth name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, sold more than 100 million records throughout his career. He rose to fame with the band Wham! and became best known for hits like “Last Christmas” and “Club Tropicana.” He left the group in the 1980s and went on to have a successful solo career. He released popular hits like “Carless Whisper” and “Freedom.” “Symphonica,” his most recent album, was released two years ago.

The star nearly died from pneumonia in 2011. He was treated at a Vienna hospital where he had a tracheotomy to keep his airways open, the Guardian wrote Sunday.

He won three Brit Awards and two Grammys. Although he was best known for his music, Michael also made headlines for his run-in with police. He battled drugs, though that doesn’t seem to be what led to his untimely death.

He pleaded not guilty to driving while unfit through drugs in October 2006 and was banned from driving, the BBC wrote. Two years later, he was charged with possession of class A drugs, which included crack cocaine.

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella