While numerous cover versions of "Last Christmas" have been playing throughout the holiday season, it has turned out to be a tragic truth for pop singer George Michael.
Michael, whose full name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, has died today (December 25) at his home in Goring, Oxfordshire in England at age 53, his publicist confirmed to the BBC.
According to police, there were no suspicious circumstances. The reason for his death has not yet been announced.
Michael rocketed to fame as the singer of the '80s pop duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley, with hits like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", "Everything She Wants", and "I'm Your Man".
He went on to launch his successful solo career in 1987 and racked up the hits on the international charts with singles such as "I Want Your Sex", "Faith", "Father Figure", "Freedom 90", "Jesus to a Child", and "Fastlove".
In the late '90s and '00s, he faced tumultuous times and an uneven musical career as he struggled with numerous issues, including drug and alcohol addiction.
Following an arrest for engaging in a lewd act in a public restroom in California in 1998, he came out as a gay man.
Michael participated in numerous charity events and fundraisers, including Band Aid's 1984 charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and his duet with Elton John "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", from which the proceeds went to charities for children, AIDS, and education.
Michael's death marks the end of a year in which numerous pop superstars, many of them his contemporaries, died, including David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, and Prince.