Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has died while on holiday in Majorca at the age of just 33, bringing an end to a varied and successful career on stage.
Gately was born in Ireland in March 1976 and joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering an advert in Dublin to audition for the country’s first boy band.
Sharing lead vocals with Ronan Keating, the band enjoyed huge success with 17 top five singles – six of them number ones, including All That I Need in 1998.
When the group split in 2000, the line-up – which also included band mates Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch – had achieved four number one albums – Said and Done, A Different Beat, Where We Belong, and By Request.
Gately was the first of the disbanded group to embark on a solo project and saw his first single New Beginning, from the album of the same name, climb to number three in the UK singles charts.
He witnessed further top 20 success with the singles Stay in 2001 and I Believe in 2000, which featured on the soundtrack of the film Billy Elliot, before being dropped by Polydor in 2001.
Gately went on to forge a successful career on the West End stage in a series of musicals, taking the lead role in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
After a string of pantomime and musical appearances, Gately appeared on ITV’s Dancing on Ice in 2007. With his dancing partner Kristina Lenko, the pair made it to eighth place before bowing out.
Adored by millions of female fans, Gately sent ripples through the pop music world in 1999 when he announced that he was gay.
In 2006 he married his long-term partner Andrew Cowles in a civil partnership ceremony in London in 2006. The pair were on holiday together on the Spanish island when he died.
Gately had enjoyed renewed success with Boyzone after the band reformed in 2008 and released the compilation album Back Again… No Matter What, featuring the bands greatest hits as well as new material including the tracks Love You Anyway, Better and Can’t Stop Thinking About You.
The band were planning on bringing out a new album in 2010 but their recent 19-date Better tour failed to fill stadiums, despite offers of free tickets.
In recent years, Gately had been writing a children’s fantasy novel called The Tree of Seasons. His last message on the social networking site Twitter, posted on 6 October, said: “Still busy – lots going on. Focusing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”
Many people might not know but I used to listen to a lot of pop stuffs when I was in secondary school, especially boybands like Boyzone, Westlife, Backstreet Boys and N Sync.
My fav song by them. I can still remembered playing this song back and forth in my discman during my secondary school days. Ha ha discman..tsk tsk memories.