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Global singing sensation and icon George Michael has died on Christmas Day, aged 53.
Police are describing the death as "unexplained but not suspicious".
They said paramedics attended his home in Goring in Oxfordshire at 1.42pm today - where he was declared dead at the scene.
His publicist announced he has "passed away peacefully at home" at 11pm last night.
The full statement read: "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 family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage."
George Michael has sold more than 80 million records worldwide in a career spanning four decades - but his life in recent years has been dogged by controversy, including when he nearly passed away in 2011 from illness.
George made an in the round appearance at Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Party in 2010 and resided in Potts Point for a substantial part of recent years.
Here is his show from Mardi Gras thanks to chicagojes as media were barred from filming the performance even though the room was full of camera phones. lol
RIP George, you will be missed.
Mardi Gras has let slip on some of the amazing elements of this years party, including the shows - which seem to be coming out the waazoo.
This year’s Mardi Gras Party will contain at least four massive shows full of dancing, drag, fabulous costumes, gorgeous sets and superstar surprises within a supercharged RHI with a central stage and moving lighting rig that will change the look of the venue throughout the night.
Katrina Márton’s return to the Mardi Gras fold as Head of Events has given the organisation enormous insights into how to get the best out each of the party venues. The Hordern’s black box nature will be exploited to the full to provide an awesome laser and effects driven show.
Meanwhile in the Royal Hall of Industries Márton has negotiated with venue managers to have a moving and evolving lighting rig to be placed over an innovative central stage. This will allow the whole venue to evolve over the night, integrated at each stage with the entertainment and musical journey.
One of the most anticipated parts of the Mardi Gras Party – and even the season as a whole – are the spectacular shows that fill the RHI every year with their outrageous and colourful performances. This year New Mardi Gras is raising the bar with at least four major shows.
This year’s party will have a rich drag element with drag queens and kings featuring in several shows. You can expect to see Verushka Darling, Carmen Geddit, Vinny Vargoosh, Shelly Legs Diamond, Charisma Belle, Minnie Cooper, Tora Hymen, Rocco D’Amore and making her last appearance at Mardi Gras – at least for a while – the iconic and much loved Mitzi Macintosh.
The wildly acclaimed creatives Squared Division, who recently demonstrated their talents with the House of Gaga show featuring Decoda Secret, will be responsible for one of the biggest shows. Returning to Mardi Gras after their debut show in 2007, Ashley Evans and Antony Ginandjar are set to create one of the most stunning avant-garde shows of the night to showcase one of the night’s big stars.
The show is best described as plastic fantastic, with an overwhelming sense of colour and fluoro. They play with music throughout the piece as well, with some very kitsch and unique song choices. “It’s going to be great to be back,” said Ashley Evans. “We’re so excited, our show is set to be outrageous!”
Craig Pearce is choreographing one of the biggest shows of the night. We can’t reveal too much, except that the style will be slutty glam-rock, and designed to bring the house down. In the hands of Pearce, who choreographed last year’s Party highlight I Just Wanna Dance with Alison Jiear, this is going to be unmissable.
Then there is our history show produced by Aaron Farley, better known as Minnie Cooper. Aaron directed his first Mardi Gras Party show in 1992 and has created some of the most hilarious and memorable shows in its history.
This massive production will bring the season artwork to life with a flamboyant journey through its history and icons, gradually revealing one of the biggest stars of the night.
So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Cameron Mitchell is creating a show that no one will want to miss. It’s huge. It’s top secret and the only clue NMG is willing to share is that it’s all about the love.
Aside from spectacular shows, Mardi Gras Party 2010 has international DJs such as David Guetta and Carl Cox, live bands such as Itch-e and Scratch-e and Nervo, four wild venues and a huge local and international party crowd.
“I am enormously excited about what Katrina and the team are putting together,” said NMG CEO Michael Rolik. “We have recognised the challenge posed by the split of the Parade and Party and our approach has been to ensure that the Party works as a standalone event of world class standards. I believe this party will establish a new benchmark for New Mardi Gras.”