Pop legend George Michael was remembered by fellow celebrities as "a gift" to music lovers everywhere after word got out Sunday that he died on Christmas Eve.
The "Last Christmas" singer "passed away peacefully" at his home in Goring, England, his publicist said without revealing a cause of death. Michael was 53.
14 photos view gallery George Michael dead at 53
"I am in deep shock," fellow British songwriter Elton John captioned a photo from 1995 of himself and Michael posted to Instagram. "I have lost a beloved friend — the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out ot his family, friends and all of his fans."
Madonna tweeted out a video of when she handed over an MTV award to Michael for his "Faith" video in 1989.
Robbie Williams, other stars mourn George Michael
"Ladies and gentlemen, the diva himself, George Michael," Madonna says in the video as a beaming Michael walks on stage to deafening cheers.
Andrew Ridgeley memorialized his former Wham! bandmate in a heartfelt tweet, calling the "Careless Whisper" singer by one of his many nicknames.
"Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog," Ridgeley wrote. "Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved."
New York record producer and composer Nile Rodgers was stunned by Michael's passing — and recalled visiting him just a few days ago.
Pop star George Michael dead at 53
"This is so crazy," he tweeted. "I was just at his house the morning of the 23rd. So crazy."
The Grammy-awarding Recording Academy, which gave Michael an "Album of the Year" award for his 1989 "Faifth," lauded the British singer's "profound impact" on modern music.
"During an influential career that spanned nearly four decades, George became one of the most beloved pop craftsmen and respected entertainers," Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement. "We have lost a cherished artist and our sincerest condolences go out to George's family, friends, and musical collaborators. He will be missed."
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