Fans are in shock at the news that openly gay Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has died at the age of 33 while on holiday in Majorca.
Reports indicate that the Irish singer went out on Saturday night and had a few drinks. He returned to his accommodation where he went to sleep on the sofa but apparently could not be wakened the next day.
On Sunday the Boyzone website consisted of a single black page with the statement: “Stephen tragically died yesterday whilst on holiday in Majorca with his partner Andrew. We have no more details at the moment. The rest of the band are travelling to Majorca this morning.”
There is no news yet on a possible cause of death, but Spanish police have said that there were no signs of suspicious circumstances.
Boyzone’s manager, Louis Walsh, who is also a judge on the talent show The X Factor, said: “I’m in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what’s happened yet. I only heard after The X Factor and we will rally around each other this week. He was a great man.”
Gately was, along with Ronan Keating, one of the lead singers in Boyzone, which was formed 1993. The band achieved six number one singles in the UK and Gately had a Top 10 solo album, which was released in 2000. He also performed on stage in shows such as the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Gately famously came out as gay in 1999 at the age of 23 to The Sun newspaper in an article headlined “Boyzone Stephen: I’m gay and I’m in love”. He was then dating 27 year-old Eloy de Jong, from the Dutch boy band Caught in the Act.
In 2006, Gately formalised his relationship with internet businessman Andrew Cowles in a civil partnership ceremony in London.
Most recently, Gately had been writing a children’s novel. His last message on Twitter, posed on October 6, read: “Still busy – lots going on. Focusing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”