Even More Xmas Day Tragedy for George Michael's Family

Sister Melanie Panayiotou dies at age 55 on 3-year anniversary of pop star's death
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2019 11:34 AM CST
Even More Xmas Day Tragedy for George Michael's Family
In this Sept. 9, 2012, file photo, George Michael is seen in concert in Paris to raise money for an AIDS charity.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Christmas will never feel the same again for George Michael's family after the pop star died on that day in 2016 at the age of 53. Now, even more tragedy associated with the holiday for the Panayiotou clan: Melanie Panayiotou, the 55-year-old sister of the singer (birth name: Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), died on Christmas, E! News reports. Per TMZ, it was their other sister, Yioda, who found Melanie in her London home; the Sun notes Yioda called an ambulance, and that Melanie, who'd had a brief illness, died at the hospital. The BBC reports, however, that London's Metropolitan Police issued a statement that noted "police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately [7:35pm] on Wednesday, 25 December, to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s."

"We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly," is all a lawyer for the family says in a statement, via the Sun. "We would simply ask that the family's privacy be respected at this very sad time." Officials say Melanie Panayiotou's death isn't currently being looked at as suspicious. Melanie, who was said to be especially close to her older brother, had recently lashed out at Elton John, one of George Michael's friends, for claiming George Michael had been "uncomfortable" being gay; Melanie noted her brother was "very proud to be gay." The two deceased Panayiotou siblings are survived by Yioda and their father, Kyriacos, or "Jack." Their mother, Lesley, was 58 when she died in 1997. More here on George and Melanie's "special bond." (More George Michael stories.)

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