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Carrie Underwood Pays Emotional Tribute to George Michael

The world of music suffers another big loss as 2016 comes to a close with the death of singer George Michael on Sunday (Dec. 25). Many stars are paying tribute to the pop star, including country music’s own Carrie Underwood.

The “Dirty Laundry” singer honored the British singer in a poignant Instagram post on Sunday, revealing that Michael has always been a major influence on her and that she’s even cried when seeing him in concert. “Before I knew anything about him, I knew his voice,” she says.

“I never told him (mainly because I thought I’d freak him out) but #georgemichael has always been such an influence on me,” she writes, adding, “His songs and his voice helped to teach me how to sing. I will forever regret not letting him know…Thank you, George, for giving the world your gifts…may you rest in peace.”

The BBC reports that Michael passed away “peacefully” at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire at the age of 53. The singer’s manager confirms to the Hollywood Reporter that he died of heart failure.

Michael first came to fame for his affiliation with the ’80s duo Wham!, which released hits including “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Careless Whisper” and the now holiday classic, “Last Christmas.” The British pop star also enjoyed a successful solo career. His debut studio album released in 1987, Faith, features the hits “One More Try” and “Father Figure” and earned him a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1989, selling more than 25 million copies.

Underwood, a self-proclaimed Wham! fan, sang the group’s signature track, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” during an episode of carpool karaoke in 2016, a segment of The Late Late Show With James Corden where the host sings with his musical guests while driving around Los Angeles.

Country Artists Who Died in 2016

2016 In Memoriam: Remembering the Country Artists Who’ve Passed in 2016

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