Melanie Panayiotou is widely known as one of two sisters of late music icon George Michael –who sadly died on Christmas day -exactly three years after her brother’s passing.
Melanie is said to have been found dead at her home in North London, by her and Michael’s older sister Yioda Panayiotou. Melanie was 58-years-old. She is survived by sister Yioda and her father Kyriacos Panayiotou.
Check out five facts about Melanie Panayiotou below.
#1 Her official cause of death has not been determined
UK outlets are reporting that Melanie had suffered a short illness before she passed away in hospital early on Wednesday evening. Yioda called 999 and an ambulance attended.
Police were called as a matter of routine and established there were no suspicious circumstances.
#2 She issued a statement just two days before her death
Just 48 hours before her death Melanie Panayiotou issued a joint statement along with Yioda, their dad Jack and George’s former manager David Austin.
The statement read: “We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year (2019 has been difficult and busy for George’s hardworking team).”
#3 She did not take well Elton John’s criticism of her brother
Just weeks before she died, Elton John appeared on TV claiming the late George Michael was “uncomfortable” with being gay.
But Melanie said George was “my ‘very proud to be gay’ brother, contrary to what you may have read recently.”
#4 She and her sister inherited most of George’s fortune
Music star George died aged 53, of natural causes at home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on December 25 2016. An inquest later revealed he had died from heart failure and liver disease. The troubled star left most of his £97.6million estate to Melanie and Yioda.
#5 She traveled the world with George
Melanie was particularly close to her brother. The former hairdresser traveled the world with him at the height of his fame while performing with Wham! She was pictured attending the Wham’s farewell party back in 1986 in London.
#6 She gave the news of George’s passing to Andrew Ridgeley
It was also Melanie who phoned Andrew Ridgeley to tell him of George’s passing. In his book, Wham! George Michael & Me, Andrew said on Christmas Day he was texting George to thank him for a gift he sent before receiving a phone call from Melanie. He wrote: “I honestly thought she was calling to wish me a happy Christmas, or maybe she was with George and the family, and they were ringing to arrange a get-together.
#7 Melanie and her family where in a fight with George’s ex-lover
Last year Melanie and other members of George’s family were locked in a bitter dispute with his boyfriend Fadi Fawaz, over the Wham! singer’s multi-million pound fortune.
The family later saw him kicked out – sparking a rampage that caused extensive damage to the plush home which resulted in Fadi’s arrest.