“We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly,” the family’s lawyer, John Reid, said in a statement to Us on Friday, December 27. “We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time. There will be no further comment.”
The Metropolitan Police told Us that the London Ambulance Service responded to a call at 7:35 p.m. local time on Christmas Day about “the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park” in London. The Met said that Panayiotou’s death is “not being treated as suspicious by police,” and a coroner will compile a report regarding the circumstances.
Michael and Panayiotou are survived by their father, Kyriacos “Jack” Panayiotou, and their 57-year-old sister, Yioda Panayiotou. Their mother, Lesley Angold Panayiotou, died in 1997.
Melanie spoke about growing up with the “Faith” singer in a 1985 interview with No. 1 Magazine.
“I don’t think you could say that he was your regular sort of boy,” she said at the time. “I mean, from what I remember, he was never interested in the kind of things the rest of the fellas were, like football and cars and things like that. He wasn’t an introvert and I wouldn’t say he was shy like some people have made out. He definitely knew what he wanted to do at an early age!”
Melanie told the U.K. publication that she and her brother had “the same sense of humor” and were “quite honest with each other” as children.
Michael (real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) was found dead at age 53 on December 25, 2016, at his home in South Oxfordshire, England. He died from natural causes as a result of heart and liver disease.