Breaking News

George Michael's sister Melanie dies aged 55 on Christmas Day

George Michael's sister Melanie dies aged 55 on Christmas Day exactly three years after her brother's death


  • Melanie was found by her older sister Yioda Panayiotou at her home in London
  • The Metropolitan Police said it was called to a property at 7pm on Wednesday 
  • She and her brother were close, and Melanie was left part of estate after death
  • Her lawyer John Reid today confirmed the 'sudden' death on behalf of her family
  • George was found dead at home in Oxfordshire on Christmas Day 2016, aged 53
George Michael's sister Melanie Panayiotou has died at the age of 55 exactly three years since the singer's death on Christmas Day 2016. 
The hairdresser was found by her older sister Yioda Panayiotou, 57, at her home in Hampstead, north west London on Wednesday, December 25. 
Melanie and her brother were close, and she was left part of his estate - which included a £97.6million fortune and a Grade II listed mansion in Highgate, North London - after his death. 
She has spoken fondly of her brother in the past, and just days ago released a joint statement in which she told his fans that their kind messages 'lift us when things are tough'.
In November she stood up for her brother in a magazine article, saying he was 'my 'very proud to be gay' brother, contrary to what you may have read recently.'
Tragically, her little brother George was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day 2016, aged 53.
George Michael with sister Melanie Panayiotou at a party in the early 1980s. The two were close and she has spoken fondly of her brother in the past
George Michael with sister Melanie Panayiotou at a party in the early 1980s. The two were close and she has spoken fondly of her brother in the past
George Michael with Andrew Ridgeley and sister Melanie Panayiotou watching Live Aid at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985
George Michael with Andrew Ridgeley and sister Melanie Panayiotou watching Live Aid at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985

Melanie Panayiotou leaves the house of her brother, the British Singer George Michael, in Highgate, London just days after laying him to rest in April 2017
Melanie Panayiotou leaves the house of her brother, the British Singer George Michael, in Highgate, London just days after laying him to rest in April 2017
Melanie's last public words - just 48 hours before her death - were about her love for older brother George, and she and other members of her family asked that people continue to do 'good deeds in his memory'. 
She and Yioda, his father Jack and longtime manager David Austin shared a statement on Michael's official website saying that the family have 'come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really), quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog and his beautiful music.'
The added: 'We know how much his lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is going well... and that is just as powerful now as if he were still with us and as many of you say in your messages, it's a gift.
'It seems important that his generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched you in a way that would have him embarrassed, all your kind words are really good to hear and we know you have always known his true heart.'
hey thanked fans for embracing the recent film Last Christmas based on Michael's music, adding that it 'is going to be there to celebrate and remember Yog and his music well into the future... and we thank everyone whose efforts brought his music to you.'  
George was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day 2016, aged 53. A subsequent autopsy later cited an enlarged heart and fatty liver as contributory factors in his death.
A vast portion of his estate - which included a £97.6million fortune and a Grade II listed mansion in Highgate, North London - was left to his siblings, sisters Melanie and Yioda. 
A vast portion of George Michael's estate - which included a £97.6million fortune and a Grade II listed mansion in Highgate, North London - was left to his siblings, sisters Melanie (Melanie Michael (Panayiotou), sister of George Michael, is pictured) and Yioda
A vast portion of George Michael's estate - which included a £97.6million fortune and a Grade II listed mansion in Highgate, North London - was left to his siblings, sisters Melanie (Melanie Michael (Panayiotou), sister of George Michael, is pictured) and Yioda
Ahead of the third anniversary of the singer-songwriter's death, his relatives asked that people continue to do 'good deeds in his memory'. Pictured is an image of Michael they shared
His sisters Melanie and Yioda, his father Jack and longtime manager David Austin shared a statement on Michael's official website
His sisters Melanie and Yioda, his father Jack and longtime manager David Austin shared a statement on Michael's official website
His family added they 'will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year', adding that the past year has been 'difficult and busy' for Michael's 'hardworking team'.
'We are, as usual, staying as positive as possible, which is what we and Yog would wish for you all, and we are all hoping for a peaceful 2020. (Wow 2020! - when you grew up with Yog, that used to seem so far away but, here we are folks - It's the future)!!!' they added.
'We'll close by saying, don't forget to say your 'I Love You's' and enjoy your celebrations wherever you are.
'Thank you so much for your kind messages, they lift us when things are tough.'
Referring to Michael's lifelong charitable efforts, they added: 'Keep on doing those good deeds in his memory, 'paying it forward' if you can.
'"Take Care" he says from up there in the stars, with mum, Anselmo, and his beloved doggies.
'Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and celebrations to you all - we send our best from here in London!'
The Metropolitan Police confirmed it had been called to a property in north west London on Wednesday evening.    
In a statement, the force said: 'Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 7.35pm on Wednesday, December 25 to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3.
'The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.
'A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances.'
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.'   
Her cause of death is not yet known. 
Melanie had spoken proudly of her famous brother in November, telling The Big Issue about the release of the George-inspired Christmas movie Last Christmas.
She said: 'My family and I hope you all enjoy the film, and Yog's music old and new, woven beautifully into this fun, easy tale of love and self-love,' she wrote in the publication.
'As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film. I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emelia [Clark]'s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles! 
'And, most importantly, we all, together with our dear departed Yog (my 'very proud to be gay' brother — contrary to what you may have read recently!) wish a very merry, merry Christmas to Big Issue sellers and readers alike.' 
The legendary Wham! singer - seen in 2005 - died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day 2016
The legendary Wham! singer - seen in 2005 - died at the age of 53 on Christmas Day 2016
Goerge Michael's house in Highgate was adorned with tributes following his tragic passing on Christmas Day in 2016
Goerge Michael's house in Highgate was adorned with tributes following his tragic passing on Christmas Day in 2016
She also dismissed Sir Elton John's claim that he was 'uncomfortable' with his sexuality. 
Speaking to close friend Sharon Osbourne on her American chat show, The Talk, Sir Elton claimed the late singer was 'so uncomfortable in his skin about being gay even though he said he wasn't.'
George's sister Melanie Panayiotou has since rubbished his comments, telling The Big Issue that he was 'my 'very proud to be gay' brother, contrary to what you may have read recently.'
His sexuality had remained private until 1998, when he was arrested for performing a 'lewd act' in front of an undercover police officer in a restroom at Will Rogers Memorial Park in Beverly Hills.  
Following his death on Christmas Day three years ago, a post-mortem examination found Michael died from heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver, which can be linked to drug and alcohol abuse. 
During his career Michael enjoyed seven number ones on the UK singles charts, including Careless Whisper, A Different Corner, Jesus To A Child and Fast Love.
He had 23 top 10 hits, including Faith, Father Figure, Outside and You Have Been Loved.

'We've come to appreciate how much love there is in the world': George Michael's family offers their Christmas message  

Hello Everybody, Lovelies, (and pets of Lovelies)!
We have come full circle again and Christmas time (and the holidays), are upon us once more.
I think we as a family, (there are lots of us, we Greek Cypriots, we're everywhere)!! have come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really), quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog and his beautiful music.
We know how much his lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is going well… and that is just as powerful now as if he were still with us and as many of you say in your messages, it's a gift.
It seems important that his generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched you in a way that would have him embarrassed, all your kind words are really good to hear and we know you have always known his true heart.
Thank you for embracing and supporting the 'Last Christmas' movie and soundtrack, we knew you would enjoy it!! 'This Is How' is good, isn't it?? We love that you love it, as would Yog.
 Everyone has been working so hard to bring you his music, the movie is going to be there to celebrate and remember Yog and his music well into the future…and we thank everyone whose efforts brought his music to you. We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year (2019 has been difficult and busy for George's hardworking team).
We are, as usual, staying as positive as possible, which is what we and Yog would wish for you all, and we are all hoping for a peaceful 2020. (Wow 2020! – when you grew up with Yog, that used to seem so far away but, here we are folks – It's the future)!!!
We'll close by saying, don't forget to say your 'I Love You's' and enjoy your celebrations wherever you are. Thank you so much for your kind messages, they lift us when things are tough.
Keep on doing those good deeds in his memory, 'paying it forward' if you can. 'Take Care' he says from up there in the stars, with mum, Anselmo, and his beloved doggies. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and celebrations to you all – we send our best from here in London! Melanie, Yioda, Jack & David

No comments