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EARLY START

George Michael: World Pays Tribute To Global Superstar; Netanyahu Lashes Out At Obama; President-Elect To Dissolve Trump Foundation. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired December 26, 2016 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:00] ALISON KOSIK, CNN HOST: John and Christine are off. And this morning fans and fellow musicians around the world are remembering the iconic singer George Michael, who died suddenly at the age of 53 on Sunday. (George Michael video playing). He rose to fame first as a pop idol in the 1980's, part of the British boy band Wham. Michael went on to have a long and very successful solo career selling more than 100 million records and collaborating with some of the biggest names in the music biz. His manager reportedly saying it's suspected that George Michael died of heart failure.

CNN's Ian Lee is live outside of Michael's home in London. Ian, you know, many people remember him as a pop star but I'm curious if the fans you're talking to also remember him as having that timeless voice, especially when his career went solo.

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right and we've been able to talk to some of those fans, Alison, here who've been coming over time paying their tributes, leaving messages, leaving flowers. You know, the one thing that's really stood out though when talking to people is getting an idea of who he was away from, you know, the music and his stage persona. A man who really was loved by this community.

Someone who everyone had a personal story about him. He'd come into their shops, he knew them, he would talk to them. Someone who wasn't just this celebrity. But, of course, he was most well-known for his music, selling over 100 million albums. And when you do talk to people here that that music, they said -- people say get them through some tough times. A man who just talked about love and hopefully people are saying this message of inclusion would continue here. Some more about the late singer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(George Michael video)