George Michael died of natural causes, coroner finds

No need for inquest or any further inquiries, says coroner, in relation to singer’s death

A selection of George Michael's biggest hits from his early days with Wham! to his successful solo career

 

The singer George Michael died of natural causes, a coroner has said.

The 53-year-old was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames South Oxfordshire, England, on Christmas Day having suffered heart failure.

Oxfordshire’s senior coroner Darren Salter said in a statement on Tuesday: “Inquires into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final postmortem report received.

“As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries.

“No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy.”

George Michael was Britain’s biggest pop star of the 1980s, first with the pop duo Wham! and then as a solo artist.

After Wham! made their initial chart breakthrough with the single Young Guns (Go for It) in 1982, Michael’s songwriting gift brought them giant hits including Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and I’m Your Man, and they became leading lights of the 80s boom in British pop music, alongside Culture Club and Duran Duran.

George Michael performing with Wham at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London in 1985Photograph: PA/PA Wire
George Michael performing with Wham at the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium in London in 1985Photograph: PA/PA Wire

His first solo album, Faith (1987), sold 25 million copies, and Michael sold more than 100 million albums worldwide with Wham! and under his own name.

However, from the late 1990s onwards he was beset by a string of personal crises and clashes with the law caused by drug use.

He had always felt ambivalent about the demands of stardom, and found it difficult to balance his celebrity status with his private life.

After years of concealing his homosexuality, he eventually came out in 1998, after being arrested for engaging in a “lewd act” in a public lavatory in Beverly Hills, California.