George Michael tributes: Elton John and Andrew Ridgeley react to death of 'beloved friend'

Widespread tributes have been paid to George Michael after his publicist confirmed the pop star had passed away at the age of 53 on Christmas Day.

Elton John said he had lost a "beloved friend" while the singer's former Wham! partner Andrew Ridgeley said he was "heartbroken".

Mark Ronson, James Corden and Ricky Gervais - who were set to appear in a 2017 documentary about Michael's list - all paid tribute.

Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Simply Red were among Michael's contemporaries in the 1980s pop scene reacting to the singer's death.

Chic founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers said he "stunned" having visited Michael's home two days before Christmas.

Madonna took to Twitter to pay tribute to the singer, writing: "Farewell my friend. Another great artist leaves us. Can 2016 f**k off now."

The singer hailed George Michael as a 'great artist'. Credit: Twitter

David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Cheryl were among the first from the world of entertainment to react to the passing of another famous name in 2016:

George Michael on stage for Wham's last sell out concert at Wembley Stadium. Credit: PA

Simon Cowell hailed Michael as "always one of the greatest", while performers Leona Lewis, Denise Van Outen, Lindsay Lohan and model Daisy Lowe paid personal tributes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and American popstar Miley Cyrus both paid tribute to the work George Michael did to support and further LGBT rights.