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R.I.P. George Michael
Monday, December 26 2016

George Michael's death has left his close friend, Elton John, "deeply shocked".

The former Wham! singer died peacefully at his home aged just 53. Elton joined a host of stars to pay tribute to the Faith singer, describing him as a "generous soul and brilliant artist". He took to Instagram to mourn his friend in an emotional post.

Elton said: "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."

Stars from the world of showbiz joined Elton to pay tribute to the "truly brilliant" George Michael. Pop stars from the former Wham! front man's heyday were joined by more contemporary names in declaring their sadness.

Martin Fry, lead singer and songwriter with "Look Of Love" band ABC, said on Twitter: "Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent úsad úsad úsad."

Contemporaries Duran Duran referenced the so-called "curse of 2016" - which has seen the deaths of rock and pop behemoths David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt, posted on their official Twitter account: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."

This year's X Factor winner Matt Terry said: "Noooooooooooooooo! I cannot believe this !!!! RIP George Michael".

Matt Lucas, who worked with the singer during a sketch for BBC comedy Little Britain, said: "Well 2016, you had to just take one more, didn't you?"

Entrepreneur and television personality Duncan Bannatyne said: "George Michael has now been taken by the curse of 2016. Please make him the last. RIP."

While former Radio One disc jockey Tony Blackburn said: "Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP. This dreadful year goes on and on. So sad, a real talent."

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