George Michael’s family pay emotional tribute on anniversary of his death
George Michael’s family have made a rare public comment to pay tribute to the late singer.
The Wham! star died on Christmas Day 2016 of natural causes.
Michael’s sisters Melanie and Yioda and their dad Jack said issued a statement calling on fans to celebrate his life a year on.
“This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss,” they said in a statement.
“Christmas is not always easy, life isn’t perfect and families are complicated.
“So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those ‘I love yous’ out loud.”
Thousands of fans have paid tribute in the last week by downloading his festive anthem, Last Christmas, in a bid to make it number one.
The campaign ultimately missed out on the top spot, coming in at number three, with Ed Sheehan taking the Christmas number one.
Since his sudden death, the outside of the mansion has become a shrine to the late singer.
The path outside of his house has been filled with thousands of gifts and tributes to George Michael from people from around the world.
But neighbours of have hit out at the shrine.
The shrine has attracted the attention of the Highgate Conservation Area advisory committee, a local group that aims to “preserve and enhance the character of the area.
Chair of the group Susan Rose told the Daily Star: “One wonders what George Michael would think of it all outside the beautiful home that he looked after so well, and right where he erected a wonderful Christmas tree every year.”
She continued: “I think a statue would be great. A lot of people in Highgate would like a permanent memorial rather than mounds of dead flowers.”
A similar shrine was erected outside of Michael’s home in Oxfordshire at the time of his death.
Early reports speculated that Michael’s death was substance-related, but the death was later confirmed to be by natural causes.
The Spice Girl formerly known as ‘Ginger Spice’ said: “Well what I do know is that George loved his fans and he really cared about his fans, so I really hear that they want to celebrate him and rejoice in him.
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“So bearing that in mind… but equally you’ve got to respect the family and he cared about his neighbours and he liked to keep things simple.”
She continued: “So perhaps there is a compromise of pleasing everybody, and my suggestion is let’s talk about him, let’s celebrate him through his music.
“If there is something to be done, possibly look at Abbey Road Studios, or a studio in north London, maybe a plaque… something simple and understated.
“I think he’d be very flattered but we do need to respect the family’s wishes.”