The family of George Michael have said they have been "touched beyond words by the incredible outpouring of love" since his death.

In a statement, the singer's publicist said his family expressed their gratitude for the "many, many kind words" shared by fans and friends in honour of the 53-year-old since his death on Christmas Day.

"For someone whose life was ultimately about his music and the love he had for his family and friends, his fans and the world at large, there could be no more fitting tribute than the many, many, kind words that have been said and the numerous plays his records have received.

"Contrary to some reports, there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death, and from the bottom of our hearts we thank those who, rightly, have chosen to celebrate his life and legacy at this most distressing of times."

The singer is believed to have died as result of heart failure. He was found dead in his bed at his Oxfordshire home by his partner Fadi Fawaz.

The London based hair-stylist told The Daily Telegraph that George was looking forward to Christmas. "I went round there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed. We don't know what happened yet. "Everything had been very complicated recently, but George was looking forward to Christmas, and so was I. Now everything is ruined. I want people to remember him the way he was - he was a beautiful person."

Friends of the star have shared accounts of Michael's philanthropy throughout his life. The singer, who was known for his generosity, had been a secret donor to many charities, donating millions of pounds to charities and offering financial help to deserving individuals.

Childline founder Esther Rantzen said he gave royalties from his 1996 hit Jesus To A Child to the charity. "Over the years he gave us millions," she told Sky News.

Tributes continue to pour in for the star from fans and celebrity friends including Mariah Carey and Paul McCartney.

Mariah took to her website where she shared a heartfelt message to the late singer following news of his passing. "George was only 53 at the time of his passing. He left us way too soon," she said. "He was a genius that gave us classics like 'Faith' as well as boundary pushing singles 'I Want Your Sex' and 'Father Figure.' He also gave us the FIRST modern Christmas classic with 'Last Christmas.

"He touched so many lives and inspired us all," Mariah wrote. "George Michael was an original. He changed music and his music changed lives."

Describing herself as a "Fan & Friend for life" she shared a personal memory of George who thanked her for recording the song One More Try. "I'm so honored u like my rendition of 'One More Try,'" Carey wrote. "You & this song have always meant so much to me."

Posting a photo of the two of them together Paul McCartney paid tribute to the former Wham! Star with a statement posted on the Beatles Great's website.

"George Michael's sweet soul music will live on even after his sudden death," McCartney wrote. "Having worked with him on a number of occasions, his great talent always shone through and his self deprecating sense of humour made the experience even more pleasurable."

In 2005, Michael joined McCartney onstage during the bassist's Live 8 concert at London's Hyde Park to perform "Drive My Car."

Fans continue to gather outside the singer's home to pay their respects.