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Sam Smith’s moving tribute to George Michael: ‘I would not be the artist I am if it wasn’t for you’

George Michael’s death has brought Sam Smith out of his self-imposed break from social media.

The Grammy and Oscar winning singer and songwriter took to Twitter early Monday to pay tribute to Michael who died unexpectedly over the weekend at the age of 53.

‘Words can’t express how much you and your music meant and means to me,’ Smith wrote.

It is the first tweet from Smith since the June 12 shooting massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse that left 49 people dead.

He had announced on 1 March that he would be ‘logging off for awhile’ shortly after winning the Academy Award for Writing’s on the Wall, the theme song to the James Bond film Spectre.

Smith, 24, has been an openly gay man since the beginning of his career.

In contrast, Michael had been famous for more than a decade and was into his 30s before he publicly discussed his sexuality.

Writes Smith of Michael: ‘Please play his music as loud as you can today and celebrate one of the most magical, talented, bravest and important figures in music and life as I know it.’

And to the late singer he wrote: ‘Your music and message will live on. I would not be the artist I am if it wasn’t for you.’

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