It would seem that this holiday season was not the best of times for the family of George Michael. The Wham! singer passed away on Christmas in 2016, and on December 25 this year, exactly three years later, Michael’s sister, Melanie Panayiotou, also died. Panayiotou was a hairdresser and makeup artist, and she used to travel with her brother and cut his hair on the road. When Michael passed away, he left £50 million (about $65.5 million) to Panayiotou, who had helped to manage Michael’s estate after his death. She was 55 years old.
Panayiotou’s family said 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 death comes just a couple days after Panayiotou and her family issued a Christmas message, writing, “We have come full circle again, and Christmas time (and the holidays) are upon us once more. 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.”