Singer George Michael, who died on Christmas Day at age 53, finally has been laid to rest.

“We can confirm that the funeral of the singer George Michael took place today,” Michael’s representative said in a statement Wednesday to People magazine. “Family and close friends gathered for the small, private ceremony to say goodbye to their beloved son, brother and friend.”

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The singer’s family, added the statement, “would like to thank his fans across the world for their many messages of love and support. We ask that the family’s wish for privacy be respected so that they can continue to live their lives privately, away from any media intrusion.”

The Associated Press said Michael was interred at Highgate Cemetery in north London. People added that he was buried beside his mother, Lesley, who died of cancer two decades ago, and that Michael’s boyfriend, Fadi Fawaz, attended the service.

A coroner in the South East England county of Oxfordshire, where the pop star had been found dead in his home, said on March 8 that Michael suffered from a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and, additionally, had a fatty liver. Oxfordshire senior coroner Darren Salter confirmed Michael’s death as from natural causes.

Michael scored hits as part of the duo Wham! before going on to sell tens of millions of albums. He had four No. 1 hits from 1988 to 1990 with “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Monkey” and “Praying for Time.”