George Michael’s sister, Melanie Panayiotou, passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 55, according to the family lawyer John Reid.
Melanie died at her home in London on Wednesday, December 25, exactly three years after her brother, pop icon George Michael, was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
George Michael died on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53.
The statement by the family lawyer John Reid confirming Melanie’s death read:
“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.”
Melanie was reportedly found dead by her older sister, Yioda Panayiotou, at her home in Hampstead, North West London. The Metropolitan Police also confirmed that they were called to the house in London on Wednesday.
“Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 7.35 pm on Wednesday, December 25 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.”
Melanie died shortly after releasing a joint statement with her sister Yioda, their father Jack, and manager Dave Austin, on December 23. In the statement released on George Michael’s official website, the family spoke fondly about George and thanked fans for their support.
“I think we as a family, (there are lots of us, we Greek Cypriots, we’re everywhere)!! have come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really), quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog and his beautiful music.”
They also thanked fans for supporting the 2019 romantic comedy film Last Christmas, inspired by the song of the same name by the pop duo Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley).
The song was written and produced by George Michael.
Melanie Panayiotou bio
Melanie was the younger of George Michael’s two older sisters. Yioda, the eldest, is 57 years old. The siblings were born to mom Lesley Angold and dad Kyriacos “Jack” Panayiotou. They grew up in Kingsbury, London, and the family later moved to Radlett, Hertfordshire.
George was close to his two sisters, but he was particularly close to Melanie, who was a hairdresser. Melanie traveled around the world with George at the height of his music career.
Michael left Melanie part of his estate valued at $128 million and a mansion in North London, according to the Daily Mail.
Over the years since George Michael died, Melanie has spoken publicly and written about her relationship with her brother.
She contributed an article to the November 2019 edition of The Big Issue. In the article, which was also published in November on the website GM Forever, Melanie talked about the movie Last Christmas and expressed hope that fans would enjoy it.