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George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou dies on Christmas Day, exactly three years since tragic death of her brother

Josh Milton December 27, 2019

Melanie Panayiotou (L), sister of singer George Michael (R). (Dave Hogan/Getty Image/Rob Verhorst/Redferns)

George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou has died aged 55 on the third anniversary of her brother’s death, police said.

The hairdresser was found at her London, England, home by her sister Yioda on Christmas Day – the same day her pop star brother tragically passed away in 2016.

According to authorities and Michael’s representatives, Panayiotou passed “suddenly” after a death was reported in the late hours of December 25.

Police: ‘The death is not being treated as suspicious.’

In a statement to the Daily Mirror, 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 death is not being treated as suspicious by police.

“A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances.”

While a rep also informed the paper: “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 comments.”

British singer George Michael performs during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the Olympic stadium in London on August 12, 2012. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)
George Michael performs during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty)

Michael and Panayiotou were known for their warming bond, having affectionally called the gay musician ‘Yog’, and the pair regularly travelled the world together.

In November, Panayiotou spoke to the Big Issue about the Michael-inspired film Last Christmas, and how the film would have meant the world to her brother.

“As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film,” she said.

“I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emilia [Clarke]’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.”

Wham! star felt ‘fraudulent’ when he was hiding his sexuality.

In a 1999 interview with the Advocate, Michael explained how he had no “moral problem” with being gay and later said “that hiding his sexuality made him feel ‘fraudulent’.”

These reflections followed his arrest for public lewdness in 1998, which outed him to the public.

A woman lays flowers among tributes outside the home of pop music icon George Michael in The Grove, Highgate on December 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
A woman lays flowers among tributes outside the home of pop music icon George Michael in The Grove, Highgate on December 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

After years of turbulent relationships, Michael fell for Australian hairstylist Fadi Fawaz.

But on Christmas Day in 2016, Fawaz found Michael’s body in his home in Goring-on-Thames.

His death rippled across the community, causing countless of fans to cancel Christmas plans to come celebrate his life – gathering outside his home to lie flowers, signed albums and framed photos.

A senior coroner in Oxfordshire later attributed Michael’s death to dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.

More: George Michael, Melanie Panayiotou

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