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USA - George Michael Performs in San Jose

Source: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty

2016 strikes again.

Singer George Michael, who launched his career in the 1980’s with the group “Wham!” before a successful solo career has passed away. Michael obtained success with fellow Wham member Andrew Ridgeley with hit songs “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper” and “Freedom” before turning solo. Once on his own, Michael’s solo album “Faith” sold 20 Million albums. The Title track hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and maintained that position for four consecutive weeks.

Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked Michael the 40th most successful artist on the Billboard Hot 100 Top All Time Artists list. He is a 2-time grammy award winner, three American Music Award and Brit award winner. He was reportedly working on new material before his passing.

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On Christmas Day, his publicist stated that he had Michael had “passed away peacefully at home.” He was only 53 years old

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