A rep for the pop star says, "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."
Details surrounding Michael's death have not been released.
"The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
Michael died at his home in Goring, England. His publicist, Cindi Berger, said he had not been ill. Michael's manager, Michael Lippman, says the cause of death was heart failure.
Duran Duran referred to the the so-called curse of 2016 - following the deaths of David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt - posting on their official Twitter account: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."
DJ Tony Blackburn said: "Unbelievable, George Michael has died at the age of 53. RIP.This dreadful year goes on and on. So sad, a real talent."
Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016), known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer.
Celebrity astrology: George Michael birth chart zone. Cancer sign.
Warm, loving, and generous in your affections, you inspire tremendous devotion and loyalty in your loved ones. This is good, since you would never settle for anything less!
You want to be adored and worshipped like the king or queen that you feel you are, and it is difficult for anyone to resist the warmth and attention you lavish on those you care about.
You have a great deal of pride and need to be recognized and appreciated. The way to really hurt your feelings is to ignore you.
You are genuine, sincere, and have a strong sense of personal integrity. You hate emotional games and dishonesty.
Your fears revolve around money and material security, and you work very hard to ensure that your assets are solid. You may be very conservative, even stingy, with your money because you are afraid there won't be enough.
You may turn this fear around and become very shrewd about investments and financial matters.
You are part of a 14 year group of people that have very intense psychic sensitivity and imagination. Your age group is very attracted to the strange, weird, and unusual.
Emotional depression, drug use, and suicide are likely to be relatively high in your age group.
There is also a deep mystical sense, and religions and meditation are very attractive to your age group.