George Michael dies at age 53 PICTURE: Supplied

He used to say he would die young: George Michael's cousin reveals how the superstar predicted his own early death when he was just 20 

George Michael died on Christmas day after long battle with drugs and alcohol, Andros Georgiou, who once toured the world with his cousin, said he had repeatedly begged the Wham! star to get help because he feared his addictions would eventually kill him. However, a series of rows caused a rift between the two men and they had not seen each other for 18 years.

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A planned reunion in the New Year will now not take place after Michael was tragically found dead at his Oxfordshire cottage on Christmas Day aged 53.
Mr Georgiou dismissed claims Michael was taking Class A drugs before his death, insisting he had 'stopped all the naughty stuff'.

He told The Times: 'He was on antidepressants but he wasn't doing drugs anymore. 

'He had swapped drugs for drink but he was doing better. The craziest thing is that when we were 20, 21 he used to say he'd die young. I'd say, don't be stupid, what are you talking about? Now he's gone, it's devastating. Following Michael's death, Mr Georgiou, a childhood friend and former manager to the singer, wrote on Facebook: 'My biggest fear has come true. I can't believe this. Please someone tell me this is not true, Yog [Michael's nickname] can't be gone.'  

George Michael and Andros Georgiou PICTURE: Facebook

Mr Georgiou wrote in the early hours of Boxing Day that he was 'watching Sky News in disbelief'.

It emerged today that Michael will be laid to rest next to his mother, Lesley Panayiotou, in Highgate Cemetery, north London

Other members of his extended family questioned why more was not done to help him battle his drug addictions.

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Mr Georgiou's sister Katerina told the Daily Mail: 'We only heard when we put on the news – on Christmas Day. None of us know what happened. We just don't know anything.'

She said the star had not seen most of his family after his most recent rehab stint in a Swiss clinic last year, and had been in contact only with his sisters Melanie and Yioda, and their elderly father.  

Tributes left outside the house of singer George Michael, where he died on Christmas Day, in Goring, southern England. Picture: REUTERS

A statement released by his publicist Connie Filippello yesterday on behalf of the star's 'family and close friends' said they had been 'touched beyond words by the incredible outpouring of love' by his fans.

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

Michael was found dead in his bed at his second home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day. His manager said he had suffered heart failure.

'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,' his publicist added.

Tributes are left on the gate outside the home of British musician George Michael in London. Picture: Tim Ireland/AP

The singer had battled with drug addictions for years and was reported to have been using heroin, but his publicist insisted there were 'no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death'.

His boyfriend Fadi Fawaz, who discovered his body, said the singer had died 'peacefully'.