George Michael’s sister dead at 55
George Michael's sister died on Christmas Day - on the three-year anniversary of the popstar's own tragic death.
The Sun reports that Melanie Panayiotou, 55, was found dead at her home in North London, by her older sister Yioda.
How tragic for the family 😭 RIP Melanie. https://t.co/eYuvTEsFvD— ⭐Lily⭐ (@AussieDDubGirl) December 27, 2019
It is understood Melanie had suffered a short illness before she passed away in hospital early on Wednesday evening.
Yioda called 999 and an ambulance attended.
The Met Police said: "Officers 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.
"The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.
"A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances."
Melanie's family have asked for "privacy" in a statement through their lawyer, John Reid.
"We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly," Mr Reid said. "We would simply ask that the family' s privacy be respected at this very sad time."
Michael was particularly close to Melanie, a hairdresser, who travelled the world with him at the height of his fame.
A source told The Sun that Melanie "was there at many of the big milestones in his life, and was there by his side until the very end".
RIP Melanie Panayiotou 😢💔 So so sad and tragic news 😢😢😢 My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Jack and Yoda 💔💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/StJYgdKJEK— MargaridaAlbuquerque ⫩ (@MargaridaAlbuq2) December 27, 2019
In a 1985 interview with No. 1 Magazine, Melanie said of growing up with her brother that "I don't think you could say that he was your regular sort of boy," and noted that the pair were alike in some ways.
"We can be quite honest with each other and we share the same sense of humour," she said.
Just 48 hours before her death Melanie issued a joint statement along with Yioda, their dad Jack and George's former manager David Austin.
She told fans to "swerve the bad" and "enjoy the good" in life.
The hairdresser also added that it was "important" to the family that the popstar's "generosity of spirit and natural empathy" had touched so many people.
The statement read: "We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year (2019 has been difficult and busy for George's hardworking team)."
"It seems important that his generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched you in a way that would have him embarrassed, all your kind words are really good to hear and we know you have always known his true heart," she said. "Thank you for embracing and supporting the Last Christmas movie and soundtrack, we knew you would enjoy it!! This Is How is good, isn't it?? We love that you love it, as would Yog (George)."
Melanie had hit out at her brother's friend Elton John just weeks before she died for claiming he was "uncomfortable" with being gay.
Speaking on The Talk, John had said: "He was so uncomfortable in his skin about being gay even though he said he wasn't."
But Melanie said Michael was "my 'very proud to be gay' brother, contrary to what you may have read recently."
George Michael died of natural causes and had a dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.
A dramatic leaked 999 call from boyfriend Fadi Fawaz after he discovered Michael's body reveals he spent nearly an hour trying to wake the star before phoning for an ambulance.
Fawaz is heard explaining: "I've been trying to wake him up for the last hour but it was not possible.
"He's gone. He's blue. He's gone."
The handler then asks where Michael's body is and Fawaz replies: "He's in bed. Dead.
"He's cold and he's blue … yes, he's very stiff.
"He's dead … he's dead."
In July, Fawaz was arrested for smashing up the late singer's palatial London house, with video showing him being detained by four police officers.
Fawaz, who was left out of the late Wham! singer's $172 million will, was arrested on aggravated criminal damage allegations.
Michael's sisters, Yioda and Melanie Panayiotou, were left £97.6 million in their brother's will.
This article originally appeared in The Sun and is republished here with permission