Stephen Gately has been found dead while holidaying in Majorca with his long-term partner Andy Cowles, Boyzone's tour website has announced. "We are truly sorry to announce that Stephen tragically died yesterday whilst on holiday with his partner Andy," the group said. "Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane are devastated by the news and send their deepest sympathies to Stephen's family and many friends all over the world." Sources told the News Of The World that the 33-year-old singer had been out for drinks with friends before returning to his room and going to sleep, but never woke up. Stephen's band mates are said to be heading out to Majorca today.
Tributes to Stephen have flooded in. "We're all absolutely devastated," X Factor judge and long-time Boyzone manager, Louis Walsh said: "I'm in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don't know much about what's happened yet. I only heard after The X Factor and we will rally around each other this week. He was a great man." The former Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, described Gately as a personal friend and called his death as a "huge, huge tragedy" for Irish music and culture. "Just heard the very sad news about dear Stephen Gately," Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter. "What a dreadful shock. He was loveable and sweet-natured and will be hugely missed."
Boyzone scored 16 Top 5 singles in the 1990s but split in 2000 to pursue solo careers. Stephen signed a record deal with Polydor but was dropped a year later after three Top 20 singles. In 2003 he joined the cast of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for a successful run in the show. In 2007 he appeared on Dancing On Ice, being voted off the fourth, but it was there that seeds to the 2008 Boyzone reunion tour were sown when the rest of the band attended the show to support him. "Still busy - lots going on," Stephen wrote in his last Twitter message on 6 October, "Focussing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here."