Thursday 23 January 2020

George Michael's sister found dead on third anniversary of pop star's death

Death of an icon: Some of the tributes outside the London home of George Michael after his sister was found dead on Christmas Day. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters
Death of an icon: Some of the tributes outside the London home of George Michael after his sister was found dead on Christmas Day. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Phoebe Southworth

The sister of singer George Michael was found dead on Christmas Day - exactly three years after his death.

Melanie Panayiotou (55) was reportedly discovered by her sister at her home in Hampstead, north-west London, on the evening of December 25.

The hairdresser was close to her brother, who was part of music duo Wham!

The band released a succession of chart-topping singles in the 1980s, before singer-songwriter Michael went solo.

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The star ended up selling more than 100 million albums and had many number one hits including 'Careless Whisper'.

He died of natural causes on Christmas Day in 2016 in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. He was aged 53.

The Metropolitan Police said it was called by the London Ambulance Service at around 7.35pm on Wednesday to "reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3".

It added: "The death is not being treated as suspicious by police. A report will be compiled for the coroner into the circumstances."

A statement from the family's lawyer, John Reid, said: "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."

Ms Panayiotou and her sister, Yioda, inherited part of Michael's estate after his death. This included a £97.6m (€114m) fortune and a Grade II-listed mansion in Highgate, north London.

Michael's family had told fans this year that their supportive messages "lift us when things are tough". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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