Another tragedy. On Christmas day, George Michael‘s younger sister, Melanie Panayiotou, passed away. She died on the same day that the singer lost his battle to fatty liver disease in 2016.
George’s family’s lawyer John Reid told Closer Weekly in a statement, “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. There will be no further comment.”
The Metropolitan Police also released their own statement confirming the 55-year-old’s death. “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 1935hrs on Wednesday, December 25, to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s,” it read, according to the BBC. “The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.”
When George passed away three years ago, his boyfriend at the time, Fadi Fawaz, found his body. “We were supposed to be going for Christmas lunch. I went around there to wake him up and he was just gone, lying peacefully in bed,” he previously explained to The Daily Telegraph.
Shortly after the “Careless Whisper” singer was found dead, his publicist announced the sad news to the world. “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother, and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” the rep said. But as much as George’s family wanted to mourn in silence, his sudden death shocked the world.
“I am in deep shock,” Elton John wrote via Instagram alongside a photo of him and his pal. “I have lost a beloved friend — the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. #RIP.”
Carrie Underwood also remembered the legend too. “I never told him (mainly because I thought I’d freak him out) but #georgemichael has always been such an influence on me. As a child, his was the first voice I could pick out of the sea of voices I heard on the radio,” she said. “Before I knew anything about him, I knew his voice. As an adult, I cried when I saw him in concert. His songs and his voice helped to teach me how to sing. I will forever regret not letting him know … Thank you, George, for giving the world.”
Our hearts go out to George’s family.