Singer Stephen Gately dies aged 33

Sunday 11 October 2009 23.05
Stephen Gately - Boyzone singer dies
Stephen Gately - Boyzone singer dies

Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has died suddenly while on holiday in Majorca. He was 33.

A spokesman for the police in Spain said Gately died at 1.45pm yesterday in his house in Port Andratx, and added: 'At the moment it is not known how he died. There are no signs of suspicious circumstances.'

Originally from Sheriff Street in Dublin, Stephen Gately joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering a newspaper advertisement.

Alongside bandmates Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Ronan Keating, his star quickly rose under the influential guidance of pop mogul Louis Walsh

The group had worldwide success before splitting in 2000. Boyzone later reformed for a reunion tour in 2008.

Gately also enjoyed a successful career in London's West End, playing the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and the 'Child Catcher' in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Mr Gately had also recently been writing a children's book.

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh said that he was ‘devastated, and in complete shock’ at the news. He said he would not be appearing on tonight's X-Factor programme as a result.

'I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don't know much about what's happened yet,' Mr Walsh said.

Stephen Gately wed long time partner Andrew Cowles, first in a commitment ceremony in Las Vegas in 2003 and more formally in a civil partnership ceremony in London in 2006.

A statement on Boyzone's official website this afternoon confirmed the singer's death, saying: ‘Stephen tragically died yesterday whilst on holiday with his partner Andrew in Majorca.

'We are completely devastated by the loss of our friend and brother, Stephen. We have shared such wonderful times together over the years and were all looking forward to sharing many more.'

'Our love and sympathy go out to Andrew and Stephen's family. We love you and will miss you forever, Steo,' the group said.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has also paid tribute to the singer.

He said: 'The Gatelys are in my own constituency. I know the family, I know Stephen.

'Ronan Keating is a very good friend of my daughter's, my family. He (Gately) was with us the other night with his boyfriend Andy, he came to my book launch.'

Mr Ahern, whose daughter Georgina married to Nicky Byrne of boyband Westlife, continued: 'It's just such a tragedy.

'Boyzone and Stephen, they've all been part of Irish life and far wider than that, the last 15 years, and so successful, so it's a huge, huge tragedy. It's so sad.

'He was 33 years of age, 15 years at the top, a fine musician, it's just a huge tragedy to Irish entertainment, Irish music and further afield as well.'