George Michael's Sister, Melanie Panayiotou, Found Dead at 55 on Anniversary of His Death

George Michael's sister, Melanie Panayiotou, was found dead in her home on Christmas Day, police said, which was the third anniversary of the singer's death. Panayiotou, 55, was found by her and Michael's older sister, Yioda, on Christmas evening.

melanie-panayiotou_getty-Dave Hogan : Contributor
(Photo: Dave Hogan / Contributor / Getty, Getty)

Metropolitan police said that they were called by the London ambulance service shortly after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to reports of the sudden death of a woman, The Guardian reports.

Police are reportedly not treating the hairdresser's death as suspicious.

Panayiotou's family confirmed her death in a statement 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."

Michael was close to Panayiotou, having left £50 million in his will to her. Yioda Panayiotou also inherited a large part of his estate upon his passing.

Just a few days before her death, Melanie Panayiotou left a Christmas message alongside her older sister, their father Jack, and Michael's former manager David Austin.

"We have come full circle again, and Christmas time (and the holidays) are upon us once more," they said in a message shared on Michael's website. "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."

The message concluded by telling people not to forget to send messages of love to those closest to them.

In last month's edition of The Big Issue, Panayiotou spoke about her hopes for the recently-released romantic comedy Last Christmas, which was inspired by Michael's music. "My family and I hope you all enjoy the film, and Yog's [Michael's] music old and new, woven beautifully into this fun, easy tale of love and self-love," she said at the time.

"As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film. I am sure he will be enjoying Emilia [Clarke's] amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles!"


Melanie is survived by Yioda, 57, as well as their and Michael's father Kyriacos, known as Jack. Melanie, Michael and Yioda's mother, Lesley, died in 1997, the BBC reports.

Photo credit: MJ Kim / Staff / Getty