Universal Music Group’s Lucian Grainge Says George Michael, Status Quo’s Rick Parfitt ‘Touched Millions’

George Michael during the Japanese/Australasian leg of his Faith World Tour in Feb., 1988.

After the passing of George Michael and Status Quo‘s Rick Parfitt over the weekend, Universal Music Group is remembering the influential musicians.

In a statement sent to Billboard, the label’s chairman, Lucian Grainge, writes, “Their music touched the lives of millions around the world.”

George Michael, whose body was found on Christmas morning, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame with the group Wham! in the ’80s and later found success as a solo artist, selling over 100 million albums and winning two Grammy Awards. He was 53.

Rick Parfitt, guitarist for the band Status Quo, died Saturday (Dec. 24) in Spain at age 68.

In his letter, Grainge calls Michael “one of the most influential talents of his era” and says, “Rick was not just a brilliant musician, he was warm and kindhearted.”

Read the full letter here:

Dear Colleagues:

I’m sad to say that last week we…