Three years ago on Christmas Day, singer George Michael passed away. Now, his family is dealing with another tragic loss.
George Michael’s Sister Dies Three Years After Him
According to The Mirror, Michael’s sister, Melanie Panayiotou, 55, has died. In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 19:35hrs on Wednesday, 25 December to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3.”
The family, via attorney John Reid, revealed the sad news about Panayiotou. “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.”
According to the Metropolitan Police, Panayiotou’s passing is not being treated as suspicious.
Survivors include Panayiotou’s father, Kyriacos (known as Jack) and an older sister Yioda, 57. Her mother, Lesley, died back in 1997.
In November’s The Big Issue, Panayiotou was quoted as being hopeful for the success of the recently-released romantic comedy Last Christmas, which was inspired by her famous brother’s music.
“My family and I hope you all enjoy the film, and Yog’s [George’s] music old and new, woven beautifully into this fun, easy tale of love and self-love,” said Panayiotou. “As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film. I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emilia [Clark]’s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles!”
Panayiotou had worked as a hairdresser and traveled with her singing brother at the height of his popularity. Fans of Michael’s would ask her for locks of his hair, but she’d reply, “it goes in the bin like everyone else’s.”
She also said: “[George] was never interested in the kind of things the rest of the fellas were, like football and cars and things like that,” she told No. 1 magazine in 1985, according to the BBC. “He wasn’t an introvert and I wouldn’t say he was shy like some people have made out. He definitely knew what he wanted to do at an early age!”
Andrew Ridgeley, Michael’s former partner in Wham!, was shocked by the news, saying on Twitter, “Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou’s passing. My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time.”
Entertainment Hub joins Michael’s fans in sending sincere condolences to Panayiotou’s family and friends at this difficult time.
Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou’s passing. My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time.
— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) December 27, 2019