Spanish Police believe that Boyzone singer Stephen Gately died from choking on his vomit after an apparent alcohol binge.
According to the Daily Record, the star was found dead in his pyjamas kneeling against a couch with his head in a pillow by his partner Andrew Cowles.
“They have been told the most likely scenario is Stephen had a bit too much to drink, vomited in his sleep and choked. It was a terrible accident,” a friend of the family told the newspaper.
Police have confirmed that no signs of foul play or of suicide were found at the scene, but an official autopsy will only take place on Tuesday.
Gately and Cowles, who were on holiday in Majorca, reportedly had a night out at a popular gay club where they were seen drinking.
They returned to their apartment, where it is believed that they continued drinking with another man. Cowles reportedly fell asleep at around 5.30am with Gately also asleep on the couch.
When Cowles found Gately’s body around midday he rushed to a neighbour for help. He was described as being “beside himself with grief”. The two men formalised their relationship in a civil partnership ceremony in London in 2006.
Gately’s family, while not disputing that he may have been drinking, has refused to accept that he engaged in an eight hour long drinking binge, as reported by British newspapers.
“We are not saying he was not drinking but eight hours is not something we accept. He was a very sensible man,” said the family through Gerald Kean.
Gately was, along with Ronan Keating, one of the lead singers in Boyzone, which was formed in 1993. The band achieved six number one singles in the UK and Gately had a Top 10 solo album released in 2000. He also performed on stage in shows such as the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
His devastated band mates are reported to have flown to Majorca following Gately’s death.