George Michael’s fans have been flocking to the late singer’s home as they mark the first anniversary of his death.
The former Wham! singer’s residence in The Grove, Highgate, London, has been turned into a shrine with flowers, photographs, lyrics and notes placed outside.
Michael died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day last year at his other home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, where tributes were also left.
His family remembered the singer with a touching message to fans on his website.
‘This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear Last Christmas and December Song streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he’s no longer here with us, missing him,’ they wrote.
‘This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you.
‘The message encouraged fans to cherish their loved ones and be honest with them while they were still around.
The message went on: ‘We are at “that age” and realise that this year many of you will have had difficult losses too.
‘Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow… would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes—he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.
‘As we all know Christmas is not always easy, life isn’t perfect, and families are complicated…
‘Yog shared his music with all of us, and many of you connected deeply with his words, yet in life, many hold their own important words and feelings inside, as so often they are the hardest to say out loud.
‘So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those “I Love You’s” out loud. We all think there is time, don’t we? – but, just maybe, it’s later than you think…
‘Have a good Christmas everyone…and as our darling Yog would say…
The singer died from natural causes and was later laid to rest in a private funeral three months after his death.