Elton John was one of the first to publicly mourn Michael, whose death, according to local police, is seen as "unexplained but not suspicious."
"I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist," he wrote in an Instagram post. "My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP"
Michael's publicist released a statement Sunday evening, confirming that the 53-year-old singer had died.
"It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period," the statement read. "The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
"Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog," former Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley tweeted shortly after the news broke. "Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx"
On Monday, Sam Smith broke his Twitter silence to share how much Michael meant to him.
"@GeorgeMichael. Words can’t express how much you and your music meant and means to me," he wrote. "Please play his music as loud as you can today...& celebrate one of the most magical, talented, bravest & important figures in music & life as I know it. Your music & message will live on."
He added, "I would not be the artist I am if it wasn’t for you."
Other stars reacted publicly too. Their sentiments are below.
Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx https://t.co/OlGTm4D9O6— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 26, 2016
& celebrate one of the most magical, talented, bravest & important figures in music & life as I know it. Your music & message will live on..— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) December 26, 2016
I would not be the artist I am if it wasn't for you. @GeorgeMichael— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) December 26, 2016
I just heard about my friend @GeorgeMichael's death. He was such a brilliant talent. I'm so sad.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 25, 2016
Very sad to hear that George Michael passed. He was a very talented musician and singer. Love & mercy to his family, friends and fans.— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) December 25, 2016
Rest with the glittering stars, George Michael. You've found your Freedom, your Faith. It was your Last Christmas, and we shall miss you.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) December 25, 2016
i bought Listen Without Prejudice the day it came out, which happened to be my 15th birthday. even when i put it on now, hearing the opening chords of “praying for time”—the opening tune, i can picture the exact shade of yellow paint that covered my teenage bedroom. it all comes back to me in pure technicolour. that’s how much of a mark that song left on me. i had never heard a musical language quite like that before. later, when i discovered the 70’s masterworks of Stevie Wonder, i started to understood where George got it from. but at that point, to my naive musical knowledge, it blew the doors open. it prepared me for Stevie in a way. later on, as a DJ in hip-hop clubs in New York City in the late 90’s, George/Wham’s “Everything She Wants” was one of maybe three or four tunes by white artists that you could follow MJ, Frankie Beverly or Roy Ayers with. the keyboard lick from “Father Figure” comprised the bones for the Jungle Bros.’ classic, underground club destroyer “J Beez Comin’ Through”. So while “Faith” and the like made George a global phenom, another side of his genius as singer, writer, producer and arranger made him a bonafide giant of soul music. as did most soul afficionados, George had a huge affinity for the music of Amy Winehouse. i imagine he felt more than a little kindred spiritness to some of the personal stuff too. Anyway, as a result of my ties to Amy, he called me once. i was on holiday exactly around this time 9 years ago. he told me he had a few soulful tunes left off of Faith that he never got to finish and asked if i would be interested in working on them. i remember one of the songs was absolutely flooring, as good as any pop/soul ballad of the era. i said of course i would be interested—all the while in complete disbelief that i was actually on the phone with GEORGE MICHAEL. i don’t know why, for some reason it never materialized. i hope one day i might get to, but i really dreamed of being in the room with him while i did. this is a tough day in a brutal year. but i'm so grateful for what he left us xxx
Another beautiful talent taken away. Rest in power @GeorgeMichael. 2016 is just brutal. ??— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) December 26, 2016
Unbelievable.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 25, 2016
RIP George Michael.
RIP George Michael. So good-humoured and self-deprecating when he joined us in Extras. 2016 just won't give us a break— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) December 26, 2016
George Michael?!?!? Nooooooo! 2016 has been brutal. Show ppl you love them everyday. Life is too short— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) December 26, 2016
So sad to hear of George Michael passing. Beautiful inside and out. Thank you for the music ??— Leona Lewis (@leonalewis) December 26, 2016
George Michael was a kind and gentle soul. #Wham— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 26, 2016
Had the pleasure of knowing George Michael in the 80s. Voice of an angel. Now he can sing for them.— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) December 26, 2016