In a statement his publicist said: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period".
The stars family have asked that their privacy be respected at this time and no further comment is expected to be made at this stage.
Thomas Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at just before 2pm this afternoon, and have confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances, though the cause of his death remains unexplained.
George Michael launched his career in the 1980's as a member of Wham! who had many hits including Christmas favourite 'Last Christmas', which has become an essential festive pop track enjoyed year after year.
Wham! also had huge hits with the likes of "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" and "Freedom"
As a solo artist George Michael was considered to be a legend of the music industry, he was a gay icon and came out publicly as gay in 1998.
The announcement of his death has come as a huge shock with celebrities and fans taking to social media to express their shock and sadness.
George Michael sold over 100 million albums and 'Freedom' is one of my personal favourite songs...
Tributes have been pouring in since the news broke just after 11pm (UK time), Elton John said: "I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans."
Ellen DeGeneres joined the tributes on Twitter, posting: "I just heard about my friend George Michael's death. He was such a brilliant talent. I'm so sad."
It comes during a year which has seen the death of many high profile figures such as Prince, David Bowie and Mohammad Ali.
Here are a couple more tributes to the late star...
I'm sure more information around the stars death will emerge in the coming days, for now we will just reflect on an incredible career, a music industry icon and a gay icon.