Andrew Ridgeley has paid tribute to George Michael’s sister after her sudden death.
Melanie Panayiotou was found dead at her home in London on Christmas Day (25.12.19), the third anniversary of the ‘Faith’ hitmaker’s passing and his Wham! bandmate Andrew took to Twitter to remember Melanie.
He wrote: "Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou’s passing. My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time."
A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "Police were called by London Ambulance Service at approximately 19:35hrs on Wednesday, 25 December to reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3.
"The death is not being treated as suspicious by police. A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances."
Melanie was aged 59, and her cause of death has not yet been confirmed.
The hairdresser was reportedly found by her older sister Yioda Panayiotou, and a representative for the late Wham! star confirmed the tragic news in a statement.
They told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "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. There will be no further comments."
Andrew was close to Melanie through George and he previously revealed she was the person who broke the news to him about George’s death.
He wrote in his book ‘Wham! George Michael & Me’: "I honestly thought she was calling to wish me a happy Christmas, or maybe she was with George and the family, and they were ringing to arrange a get-together.
"There was certainly nothing to hint at the awful news that followed — that George had passed away.
"The news hit me like a punch to the gut. It was as if my world had been pulled out from underneath me.
"I put down the phone and, doubled over in grief, began to sob…I felt crushed by sadness."