Out singer-songwriter Sam Smith on Monday paid tribute to George Michael, who died unexpectedly on Christmas Day.

“@GeorgeMichael. Words can't express how much you and your music meant and means to me,” he tweeted.

“I would not be the artist I am if it wasn't for you. @GeorgeMichael,” he said in a separate tweet.

Smith added: “Please play his music as loud as you can today & celebrate one of the most magical, talented, bravest & important figures in music & life as I know it. Your music & message will live on..”

(Related: Adam Lambert, Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres, George Takei react to George Michael's death.)

Shortly after winning an Oscar for Writing's on the Wall, the theme song to the James Bond film Spectre, Smith announced that he was leaving social media. Since March he has only sent out one message, a tweet in support of Orlando, where a lone gunman had opened fire in a gay nightclub, killing 49 people and wounding dozens more.