Bandmates, manager and former Irish leader speak as 33 year-old singer passes away
Tributes have been paid to Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who was found dead on Saturday (October 10).
The singer, aged 33, died at his apartment in Majorca, Spain.
His Boyzone bandmates, who flew to the island last night, issued a joint statement after learning of Gately‘s death.
“We are completely devastated by the loss of our friend and brother, Stephen,” they said. “We have shared such wonderful times together over the years, and were all looking forward to sharing many more. Stephen was a beautiful person in both body and spirit. He lit up our lives and those of the many friends he had all over the world. Our love and sympathy go out to Andrew [Cowles, Gately‘s partner] and Stephen‘s family. We love you and will miss you forever, ‘Steo‘.”
Louis Walsh, ‘X-Factor’ judge and the band’s manager since their formation in 1993, cancelled his appearance on the ITV show last night after learning of Gately‘s death, before adding his tribute.
“We’re all absolutely devastated. I’m in complete shock,” he said. “I was only with him on Monday (October 5) 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.”
Walsh‘s fellow judge Simon Cowell added his tribute on last night’s programme, declaring: “This is really, really tragic news. I want to send out my condolences.”
Meanwhile former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern – whose daughter Georgina is married to Westlife singer Nicky Byrne – added his voice.
“It’s so sad. Boyzone and Stephen, they’ve all been part of Irish life and far wider than that, for the last 15 years, and so successful, so it’s a huge, huge tragedy,” he said. “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.”