GEORGE SIS DIES ON XMAS DAY
Melanie, 59, never got over loss of pop star bruv
GEORGE Michael’s sister Melanie, 59, was found dead on Christmas Day – exactly three years after the singer died.
GEORGE Michael’s sister was found dead on Christmas Day – exactly three years after the singer’s tragic death.
Hairdresser Melanie Panayiotou, 59, travelled with her brother on tour and used to cut his hair.
Her body was discovered at her home in Hampstead, north-west London, by her sister Yioda, 57.
Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and her cause of death is not yet known, but it was believed she had been suffering from a short illness.
Melanie was an heiress to Last Christmas singer George’s estate, which included a £97.6million fortune and Grade II-listed mansion in Highgate, north London.
Last night George’s fellow Wham! star Andrew Ridgeley paid tribute.
The 56-year-old musician wrote on Twitter: “Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou’s passing.
“My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time.”
Lawyer John Reid said on behalf of the family: “We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly. We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time.’’
Just 48 hours before her death, Melanie and her family released an emotional Christmas message on George’s official website in which they spoke of how they took comfort from his songs’ lyrics when “things are tough”.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called to her house at 7.35pm on Christmas Day by the London Ambulance Service following “reports of the sudden death of a woman aged in her 50s”.
They added: “The death is not being treated as suspicious.
“A report will be compiled for the coroner into the circumstances.’’
George was found dead from natural causes at his home in Goring-onThames, Oxon, on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53. A post-mortem cited an enlarged heart and fatty liver as contributory factors, which can be linked to drug and alcohol abuse.
IT is utterly tragic that George Michael’s sister has also died on Christmas Day. Melanie Panayiotou was found dead by her sister Yioda on the third anniversary of their beloved brother’s death. This poor family are once again thrown into a sombre spotlight. Melanie, 59, had only recently revealed how she was still devastated by George’s passing. She insisted she was trying to stay positive over the festive period and asked the star’s fans to keep doing good deeds in his memory. And she seemed to take comfort from George’s dedicated army of supporters and their undying love for him. But now a devastating curse has struck again. Details are still emerging around the circumstances of the hairdresser’s death. But one thing is clear. Christmas Day will forever be a dark time for this family.
SO CLOSE: The hit-maker with his sister. Right, bandmate Ridgeley
PASSED MASTER: The chart-topping singer died on Christmas Day in 2016
TALENT SHOW: Melanie with Andrew and George at Live Aid in 1985