“We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch,” Fawaz said. “I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed. We don’t know what happened yet.”
Michael was found dead on Sunday due to apparent heart failure. He was 53. “Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I,” Fawaz added. “Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was – he was a beautiful person.”
On Twitter, Fawaz also wrote: “It’s a xmas i will never forget finding your partner dead peacefully in bed first thing in the morning.. I will never stop missing you xx.”
Michael’s former partner of 13 years, Kenny Goss, spoke about the singer’s death as well, saying he was “heartbroken” in a statement per the U.K.’s Press Association (via CNN). “He was an extremely kind and generous man,” Goss continued. “The beautiful memories and music he brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him.”
Michael sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career, going from teen idol in Wham! to a widely praised solo artist willing to explore the vast spectrum of pop, rock, R&B and soul. While his career would often be marred by scandal, Michael remained a powerful and influential voice in pop culture, pushing social taboos lime fellow groundbreaking artists Prince and Madonna.
Michael’s last studio album was 2004’s Patience, which debuted at Number One in the U.K. In 2014, he released the live album, Symphonica. The singer had been planning an expanded reissue of his second solo album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 alongside a documentary on his career titled Freedom. According to Michael’s manager Michael Lippman, it’s unclear if the reissue and documentary will go forward as planned.