Melanie Panayiotou, the sister of the late pop star George Michael, has died at the age of 55. According to The Guardian, the police said her body was found at her residence by her sister Yioda on Christmas.
The hairdresser died exactly three years after the British singer passed away due to natural causes at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. London's Metropolitan Police said that emergency services were called to a home in north London on Wednesday due to "reports of the sudden death of a woman".
"The death is not being treated as suspicious," the police said. Melanie's family released a statement through their lawyer, confirming her demise.
"We can confirm that very tragically, Melanie has passed away suddenly. We would simply ask that the family's privacy be respected at this very sad time," the brief statement read.
Melanie and George are survived by their father Kyriacos, known as Jack, and their oldest sister Yioda, 57. Their mother Lesley passed away in 1997. On Twitter, Melanie's death was condoled by George's former Wham! bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.
"Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou's passing. My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time," he wrote.
Two days before her death, Melanie and her family a issued joint statement on Michael's website. "We have come full circle again, and Christmas time (and the holidays) are upon us once more. I think we as a family (there are lots of us, we Greek Cypriots, we're everywhere) have come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really) quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog (Michael's nickname) and his beautiful music," the statement said.
"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... 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 added.