Mystery surrounds death of Boyzone pin-up Gately

The Irish pop singer Stephen Gately, the first boy band member to come out as gay, died on Saturday while holidaying in Majorca. He was 33.

Mr Gately, one of two lead singers in the boyband Boyzone, was found dead lying on a sofa at his home in Port Andratx at 1.45pm on Saturday, after a night of partying. A spokesman for the Spanish police said it had not been established how the singer died, although he added that there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.

“There was no suicide note or evidence of any drug use or excessive drinking and the dead man’s friends were at a loss to explain what had happened,” according to a source who had been called to the scene.

“All we know so far is that they had gone out the night before till late and had quite a few drinks and raised the alert when they found Stephen dead.”

Irish solicitor and family friend Gerald Kean spoke on behalf of the singer's family, and ruled out suicide.

"There's no foul play involved and it's not suicide," he said.

"There is nothing untoward, it's not drugs, we don't believe, it's not suicide, it's not murder, it's not a fight. That's what we've been told."

Gately shot to fame in 1995 when Boyzone’s cover of the Osmond’s hit “Love Me For a Reason” reached number 2 in the UK charts. The band became on e of the biggest pop acts of the decade, anjoying a fierce rivalry, at least in terms of record sales, with their boyband contemporaries Take That, selling nearly 20 million records.

But Mr Gately will be remembered not solely for his music. In 1999 he made headlines when he became the first boyband member to reveal himself as gay. Fearing that a former member of Boyzone's security staff was about to sell the story, he revealed that he was in a relationship with a member of a Dutch boyband. The band’s manager Louis Walsh, who was too upset to appear as a judge on last night’s X-Factor, said he was unaware of Mr Gately's sexuality when he made him a member of the band, and that had he been aware he may not have done so.

In 2002 Gately was introduced to internet businessman Andrew Cowles by mutual friends Elton John and David Furnish. The two entered into a civil partnership in 2006 and had remained together since.

Last night Sir Elton said: "David and I are stunned by this tragedy. Stephen was the kindest, gentlest soul.”

On hearing the news Mr Walsh said he was “absolutely devastated” and “in complete shock.” He called Mr Gately “a great man.”

Since finishing their 2009 tour the band has recorded another new album, which had been expected to be released in Spring 2010. As the rest of the band flew to Majorca yesterday Shane Lynch said: “We just need to get over to where he’s passed and work out what we need to do.”

The former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: “The Gatelys are in my own constituency. I know the family, I know Stephen.

"He was 33 years of age, 15 years at the top, a fine musician, it's just a huge tragedy to Irish entertainment, Irish music and further afield as well."

After the group disbanded in 2000, Mr Gately was the first to embark on a solo career, releasing his album “New Beginning” in the same year, but it enjoyed only modest success. In 2002 he played Joseph in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End Production, the first of many West End roles, including the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

In 2007, inspired by the success of Take That, Boyzone reformed, releasing a new album and selling out two UK tours.

Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
ComedyCollier was once told there were "too many women" on bill
Arts & Entertainment
film

Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatre

Review: Of Mice and Men

VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
art

By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work

Arts & Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio will star in an adaptation of Michael Punke's thriller 'The Revenant'
film

Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film

Arts & Entertainment
Down to earth: Fern Britton presents 'The Big Allotment Challenge'
TV

Arts & Entertainment
The London Mozart Players is the longest-running chamber orchestra in the UK
musicThreatened orchestra plays on, managed by its own members
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
film

Arts & Entertainment
TV
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
art

What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?

Arts & Entertainment
artGraffiti legend posts picture of work – but no one knows where it is
Arts & Entertainment
A close-up of Tom of Finland's new Finnish stamp
art

Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings

Arts & Entertainment
Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in 2002's Die Another Day
film

The actor has confessed to his own insecurities

Life & Style
Green fingers: a plot in East London
TV

Allotments are the focus of a new reality show

Arts & Entertainment
Myleene Klass attends the Olivier awards 2014

Oliviers 2014Theatre stars arrive at Britain's most prestigious theatre awards
Arts & Entertainment
Stars of The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park

Oliviers 2014Blockbuster picked up Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical
Arts & Entertainment
Lesley Manville with her Olivier for Best Actress for her role in 'Ghosts'

Oliviers 2014Actress thanked director Richard Eyre for a stunning production
Arts & Entertainment
Rory Kinnear in his Olivier-winning role as Iago in Othello

Oliviers 2014Actor beat Jude Law and Tom Hiddleston to take the award
Arts & Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch is best known for this roles in Sherlock and Star Trek
TV

Arts & Entertainment
theatreAll hail the temporary venue that has shaken things up at the National Theatre
Arts & Entertainment
musicShe is candid, comic and coming our way
Arts & Entertainment
booksHer new novel is about people seeking where they belong
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit