X Factor's Joe McElderry pays tribute to "lovely" George Michael after their duet


X Factor winner Joe McElderry has paid tribute to the late George Michael.

Ex-Wham! singer George was tragically found dead on Christmas Day, aged just 53.

"So sad to hear about George Michael! I was so lucky to have met him and even luckier to perform with him what a lovely man he was! 😞😞 RIP! 💔" Joe tweeted over the weekend.

The 2009 winner of The X Factor had performed with George Michael on the final of his series seven years ago, before Joe went on to win the public vote.

"A moment I will cherish!!" Joe added in a caption alongside him and Michael performing, posted to Instagram.

Also paying respects online to the iconic performer was X Factor boss Simon Cowell.

"Rest in peace George. You were always one of the greatest," Simon tweeted.

George Michael passed away peacefully on Saturday afternoon at his home.

A spokesperson for the star said in a statement: "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."

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