It has been one year since George Michael’s sudden death on Christmas Day 2016 at the young age of 53. Michael’s cause of death was found to be heart and liver disease, according to the coroner in Oxfordshire, England. In memory of the pop singer’s passing, his family shared a message of light and hope to remember him.
Lovingly known as “Yog,” which comes from the Greek pronunciation of Michael’s given name, Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, his family posted this message on his fansite:
“This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear ‘Last Christmas’ and ‘December Song’ streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him.
This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you.”
The singer was well known for his love of Christmas. He wrote and produced “Last Christmas,” performed by Wham!, and it has been covered by countless artists since.
The family’s statement continued:
“Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow… would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes—he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.
As we all know Christmas is not always easy, life isn’t perfect, and families are complicated…”
Fans took to social media to pay tribute to the beloved singer and the love he shared with anyone who listened to his music.
Fadi Fawaz, Michael’s partner, shared a message on Instagram with his 20,000 followers to note the anniversary.
The image shows the pair’s faces merged together with a poem on Michael’s right cheek:
Our thoughts are with George Micheal’s family and loved ones and anyone else dealing with loss during the holiday season.