The pop music band Wham! dominated radio airwaves in the 1980s and launched the stellar career of singer George Michael.
Fans of the group received some sad news this week upon learning that member Deon Estus died at the age of 65.
“My dearest, closes partner”
According to Fox News, his death was confirmed in a message shared on his Twitter account on Monday.
“It is with real sadness I post that Deon Estus passed away This Morning,” the tweet read. “Deon was mostly known as the third member of Wham! Deon was passionate about music and loved interacting with his loyal fans.”
That announcement did not provide a cause of death, though reports noted that a source close to the musician indicated he died on Sunday of apparent heart complications.
His longtime partner, Brenda Kaye Pierce, posted a Facebook message that began: “My dearest, closest partner and significant other of 4 years transitioned and all I can remember is our last conversation the day before.”
She went on to acknowledge that her “heart will need time to heal” before adding, “R.I.P. Deon. Love you forever.”
“Lives large in the memory”
In addition to serving as the bassist for Wham!, Estus also performed with artists including Marvin Gaye and Switch. Fellow Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley addressed the “sad news” in a tweet early on Monday.
Calling Estus a “lavishly gifted bass guitarist, a charismatic & impish character & a rock of the WHAM! rhythm section,” Ridgeley noted that his former bandmate “lives large in the memory, he radiated warmth, humour & life’s illuminating light.”
Estus is also known for popular songs he released on his own, including Heaven Help Me and Me or the Rumors, both of which were featured on an album he released in 1989.
His death comes a little less than five years after Michael’s death. The singer and Wham! co-founder died in 2016 of “dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver,” according to British authorities.
Michael’s Twitter account included a tribute to the bassist on Monday, featuring a photo of the two musicians together and a message describing Estus as “not only an unbelievably talented bass player but also a much loved and treasured member of Wham! and of George’s musical family.”