George Michael's family pay emotional tribute on the anniversary of his death

27 December 2017, 10:02 | Updated: 27 December 2017, 10:16

george michael

George Michael's family have spoken of a "tough" 12 months since his passing on Christmas Day last year.

In a heartwarming letter posted on George's website, his family - including sisters Melanie and Yioda Panayiotou and father Jack Panayiotou - wrote a positive tribute to the late singer on the anniversary of his death.

They wrote: "This year has been a series of new and tough challenges for those of us close and loyal to Yog, not least of which was steeling ourselves this month, to hear 'Last Christmas' and 'December Song' streaming out of shops, cars, and radios, as it has done for decades, knowing he's no longer here with us, missing him.
"This Christmas will be hard without him, but we know that we are not alone in our mourning the anniversary of his loss, and that the sadness of our wider family, and true friends, is shared by many of you.
"We are at 'that age' and realise that this year many of you will have had difficult losses too."
George Michael family tribute
George's family also asked fans to think of the star "fondly" over the Christmas season, and to say "I love you" to someone special in honour of him.
They added: "Yog, who loved Christmas, and always hoped it would snow... would want each of you that admired and loved him, (yes--he knows you did!!) to take a moment, raise a glass, enjoy his music and think of him fondly, making sure to enjoy your time with, and appreciate your family and friends.
"As we all know Christmas is not always easy, life isn't perfect, and families are complicated...
"Yog shared his music with all of us, and many of you connected deeply with his words, yet in life, many hold their own important words and feelings inside, as so often they are the hardest to say out loud.
"So if you can, in his memory this year, take a moment and a deep breath and say those 'I Love You's' out loud.
"We all think there is time, don't we? - but, just maybe, it's later than you think... "
Robbie Williams, Gary Kemp and James Arthur were among the stars who featured on Smooth Radio's own tribute to George Michael - You Have Been Loved - hosted by Margherita Taylor.
You can listen to the whole show until Monday (January 2) by clicking this link.