Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sad News: Out singer and Actor, Stephen Gately (Boyzone), Dead at 33

Stephen Gately has died at age 33. No cause of death has yet been reported. Primarily known as a member of the pop group, Boyzone, he was also an accomplished actor. Gately shocked the music industry and fans alike by coming out as a gay man ten years ago and in March 2006 had a civil union with boyfriend, Andrew Cowles. Condolences to Gately's family and friends and especially his husband Andrew Cowles.

What's on in Theatre reports:
Boyzone singer and West End actor Stephen Gately has died age 33. On holiday in Majorca, Gately died after returning home after a night out. The cause of death is currenty unclear.

A friend said: "It looks like he went out for a few drinks, then got back, fell asleep and never woke up."

Boyzone manager and X-Factor judge Louis Walsh said: "We’re all absolutely devastated. 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."

Fellow band members Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham plan to flying to Majorca on Sunday. Speaking about the news Lynch said: "Me and the boys are flying out in the morning. We just need to get over to where he’s passed away and work out what we need to do."

Lead singer, Keating, is currently in Chicago and a close friend has said that, "Ronan is completely distraught. No-one saw this coming. He loved Stephen like a brother, they were so close, it’s absolutely floored him. It’s a massive shock to everyone and no one can take it in yet. He was a man in the prime of his life, and this is a huge tragedy."

His last Twitter posting states: "Still busy - lots going on. Focussing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here."

Gately had appeared at The New London Theatre in the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and earlier as the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium. On tour around the UK he appeared in Godspell playing Jesus, The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and the touring production of Joseph. READ MORE
Fans around the world have been posting their comments on social networking sites trying to come to terms with the news.
What's on in Theatre reports:
Speaking on the Stephen Gately Facebook group member, Stephanie Fontanilla, said: "I was really surprise because I was just listening to some of his songs last night and then this morning I’ve seen this news. It is really depressing…".

Another facebook user, Gareth James, wrote, "I am so sad and shocked, I can’t believe it. My heart goes out to Andrew, his family and friends. A great entertainer. Will be so sadly missed. Love you Stephen x"
Stephen Gately's Official site.

Thanks to Patrick (Dublin), Ian (Manchester) and Gareth (London) for alerting me to the sad news.