Melanie Panayiotou, the sister of late rock star George Michael, passed away on Christmas Day and it came on the third anniversary of Michael's death. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but police have said there was no foul play. And because of her passing the same day as her brother, a number of Michael's fans grieved on social media to remember the two individuals.
A number of fans used emojis to show their condolences to the family. And there were also fans who were shocked to hear Panayiotou pass away on the same day as Michael three years apart.
WHAT, may she rest in peace 😔🙏🏼— Tamara Knežević (@tamiknezevic) December 27, 2019
RIP. My cousin died Xmas Eve in his chair after shopping 😭— marti dixon (@malia6540) December 27, 2019
🥺— fueksy megs (@fueksy) December 27, 2019
There were other fans to say that it was sad because both Michael and Panayiotou passed away at a young age. But with the two being close, they can now rest together.
how can that family ever enjoy christmas again?— Superfly Bri (@EmperorZing) December 27, 2019
Rip❤🙏— Gia Vazquez (@GiaVazquez5) December 27, 2019
The family confirmed the news of Panayiotou's passing through their lawyer. "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 statement read. "There will be no further comment."
One of the last messages Panayiotou wrote was about Christmas. She and her older sister, Yioda Panayiotou, and their father, Jack, offered a holiday message on Michael's website on Dec. 23.
"We have come full circle again, and Christmas time (and the holidays) are upon us once more," they said. "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.
"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."
Melanie Panayiotou was 55 years old when she passed away. When Michael died in 2016, he was 53.