Gay icon George Michael laid to rest in private funeral

A funeral has been held for legendary star, George Michael. The late  icon, who was found dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day at the age of 53, has been laid to rest in a private ceremony held by his family. The date and location of the funeral were kept private to avoid fans of the Wham! star attending in large numbers. Michael’s spokesperson released a statement confirming the funeral had taken place, saying: “Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother and friend. “George Michael’s family would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support. We ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion. No further details will be released.” Tributes flooded in from around the world following Michael’s death, while the star was honoured with a tear-jerking performance from Coldplay’s Chris Martin at the BRIT Awards in London earlier this year. The ‘Fast Love’ singer, who was hospitalised with pneumonia in 2011 and had suffered a string of health issues in recent years, sold an estimated 80 million records worldwide and scored seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. More stories: Artists pay tribute to ‘Saint’ George Michael in huge gay mural ‘George Michael was an LGBT icon whose real heroism lay in his vulnerability’