Boyzone’s Gately dead
MADRID: Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, 33, died on October 10 while on holiday in Majorca off the coast of Spain, the band said on its website.
“Stephen tragically died yesterday whilst on holiday with his partner Andrew in Majorca,” the Irish band’s site said on October 11.
The Boyzone members, including lead singer Ronan Keating, were heading to Majorca following news of the death. The circumstances surrounding Gately’s death
remained unclear but (Britain’s) News of the World newspaper reported he died after a night out.
Boyzone manager Louis Walsh told the newspaper: “We’re all absolutely devastated.” Speaking to the newspaper, band member Shane Lynch said, “Me and the boys are flying out in the morning. We just need to get over to where he’s passed and work out what we need to do.”
Gately, who married his partner Andrew Cowles in a civil union in 2006, sent ripples through the pop music world 10 years ago when he announced that he was gay. He joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering an advert in Dublin to audition for Ireland’s first boyband.
The band went on to enjoy huge success with six number one singles in Britain, but split up in 2000. They reunited seven years later, but their recent 19-date Better tour failed to fill stadiums, despite offers of free tickets.
Gately also starred in West End musicals in London, including Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Boyzone lead singer Keating was “completely distraught”, the News of the World said, and former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern paid tribute to Gately, whom he knew, on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
He said, “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.”
Gately last posted a message on his Twitter page on October 6, writing, “Still busy, lots going on. Focusing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”