george michael

George Michael's sister Melanie has died – three years to the day after the late singer's passing

Melanie was found at her London home on Christmas Day

Francesca Shillcock

The sister of late singer George Michael, Melanie Panayiotou, had died aged 55, three years to the day after George's passing on Christmas Day 2016. Melanie, who worked as a hairdresser, was found in her London home by her older sister Yioda on Wednesday, 25 December.

The Metropolitan Police released a statement saying: "Police 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, NW3." The statement continued: "The death is not being treated as suspicious by police. A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances."

Melanie Panayiotou

Melanie, aged 55, has passed away

The sad news comes shortly after Melanie and the rest of George's family posted a message to fans on his official website just before the anniversary of his death. "We have come full circle again and Christmas time (and the holidays), are upon us once more. I think we as a family … have come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really), quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog and his beautiful music."

george michael

George Michael passed away on Christmas Day 2016

The message continued: "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 … Thank you so much for your kind messages, they lift us when things are tough." The heart-warming letter also mentioned Last Christmas, the film in which George Michael's music is featured and celebrated: "Thank you for embracing and supporting the ‘Last Christmas’ movie and soundtrack, we knew you would enjoy it!! … We love that you love it, as would Yog [George]."

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George was found at his home in Goring-on-Thames in Oxfordshire by his partner Fadi Fawaz on 25 December 2016, and was later discovered to have died as a result of heart and liver disease. The 53-year-old left £97.6million and the majority of his estate – including his houses – to his sisters Melanie and Yioda.