George Michael died of natural causes, coroner finally rules

Flowers, candles and messages left by well-wishers and fans in tribute outside the home of late British singer George Michael Picture: Niklas Halle'N
Flowers, candles and messages left by well-wishers and fans in tribute outside the home of late British singer George Michael Picture: Niklas Halle’N

British pop icon George Michael, who was found dead at his home on Christmas Day, died of natural causes, a coroner said yesterday.

The cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, according to Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, west of London.

He said the investigation was now closed with no need for an inquest

An initial postmortem examination on the 53-year-old, who enjoyed a 35-year career punctuated by years of drug-taking, proved inconclusive pending further tests.

Dilated cardiomyopathy, which can be caused by substance abuse, affects the heart’s ability to pump blood due to the muscle becoming enlarged and weakened. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart wall.

Michael’s partner, Fadi Fawaz, said he had found the star lying peacefully in bed at his home in the village of Goring on the River Thames, west of London.

The singer’s funeral can now take place after three months of tests.

Michael’s publicist had been keen to quell reports of foul play, saying there were no suspicious circumstances.

Former partner Kenny Goss told Britain’s Sunday Mirror that he thought Michael’s body “just gave up”, adding that “all these years, it was just weak”.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou to a Greek Cypriot father and English mother in north London in 1963, Michael shot to fame with the band Wham! and sold more than 100 million records in his career.

He met Andrew Ridgeley at high school and the pair went on to form Wham! in 1981.

With their good looks, perma-tans, highlighted hair and carefree image, the duo captured the spirit of the 1980s and fast became one of Britain’s biggest pop acts with a string of hits including Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

Showpiece industry ceremony the Brit Awards remembered Michael last month with a moving tribute from Ridgeley, who said his death “felt like the sky had fallen in”.

Chris Martin from Coldplay performed Michael’s A Different Corner, his voice interwoven with that of the late British singer-songwriter, receiving a standing ovation.

Michael only revealed in public that he was gay in 1998 after being arrested by police in Los Angeles for allegedly engaging in a lewd act in a public toilet.

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