George Michael's Sister Dies on Christmas, Exactly Three Years After Him

Police do not suspect foul play

George Michael’s 55-year-old sister passed away on Christmas Day, exactly three years after the pop icon died.

In a statement obtained by the BBC, the family said Melanie Panayiotou passed away suddenly and asked that their privacy be respected during this sad time.

According to the Daily Mail, Panayiotou was found by her older sister at her home in London on Wednesday. Police said her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Just two days before her death, Melanie and other family members shared a holiday message in honor of George Michael on his official website. The statement talked about how it was a difficult time of year for those who know him, and gave thanks to fans for embracing his music.

'We know how much his lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is going well,” the statement reads. “And that is just as powerful now as if he were still with us and as many of you say in your messages, it's a gift.”

“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.”

George Michael’s music has been alive and well in recent months. The new film “Last Christmas” is based on the Wham! holiday classic and features songs old and new from Michael. The video for “Last Christmas” also has a whole new look through 4k restoration.

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