Tributes to George Michael from his 1980s friends and rivals

George Michael
George Michael
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Star names from the 1980s pop scene were among those hailing the impact of George Michael, who died on Christmas Day aged 53.

Martin Fry, lead singer and songwriter with Look Of Love band ABC, said on Twitter: "Absolutely devastated to hear of the loss of @GeorgeMichael Truly brilliant talent #sad #sad #sad."

Contemporaries Duran Duran referenced the so-called "curse of 2016" - which has seen the deaths of rock and pop behemoths David Bowie, Prince and Rick Parfitt, posted on their official Twitter account: "2016 - loss of another talented soul. All our love and sympathy to @GeorgeMichael's family."

And 1980s pop star Howard Jones, known for the song I'd Like To Get To Know You Well, said: "Can't believe George Michael has passed of the greatest singers and writers the UK ever produced. I'm really saddened ..a lovely man."

Alison Moyet, who performed at Live Aid in 1985 on the same bill as Michael, said: "I met George Michael a few times & he was ever a gentle, unassuming soul. A rare presence in a world full of self. Honest, genuine talent."

Producer and musician Mark Ronson - due to feature in a film entitled Freedom: George Michael - said: "I bought (& worshipped) Listen Without Prejudice on my 15th birthday. This song readied me for Stevie Wonder... Other than a global pop phenom, George Michael was one of the true British soul greats. A lot of us owe him an unpayable debt. bye George xx"

Holly Johnson, lead singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, said: "Sad to hear the news about George Michael , and so many great singers and songwriters we lost this year."

Music contemporaries Spandau Ballet described the Last Christmas singer as a "brilliant artist & great songwriter", while Matt Goss, singer in the band Bros, said he was "true pop royalty".

Simply Red said: "Its hard to take in. One of our most talented singer songwriters has left us. RIP George Michael. Such sad, tragic news. 2016 please end."

Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson described Michael as "a very talented musician and singer". He added: "Love & mercy to his family, friends and fans."

Chic founder and guitarist Nile Rodgers said he with the tragic pop star days before he died.

He said: "This is so crazy. I was just at his house the morning of the 23rd. So crazy."

TV personality James Corden, who collaborated with Michael for an early incarnation of his carpool karaoke feature, said: "I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to Michael's dedication to equality campaigning.

He said: "Sad to hear that George Michael has died. He was an exceptional artist and a strong supporter of LGBT and workers' rights."

LGBT charity Stonewall tweeted their sadness at the news, writing: "R.I.P. George Michael. You inspired many and your music will live on in the hearts of the community. You will be sorely missed x."