George Michael's sister found dead aged 55 - exactly three years after the singer's own death

George Michael's sister has been found dead - exactly three years to the day after the singer's own death.

Hairdresser Melanie Panayiotou, 55, was found at her home in North London, by her elder sister Yioda.

Former Wham! star George died aged 53 from heart and fatty liver disease on Christmas Day, 2016.

A statement from the family's lawyer John Reid said: "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 comment."

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Singer George Michael arrives at the London Hilton hotel, for tonight's celebrity fashion show, which is held for the charity London Lighthouse, the centre for people suffering with HIV and AIDS.
Floral tributes are left outside the home of George Michael in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on the second anniversary of the singer's death.
Tributes to George Michael outside his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. George Michael's family have asked fans to remove their tributes from outside the late singer's former homes for the sake of his neighbours.
Tributes to George Michael outside his house in Highgate, north London. George Michael's family have asked fans to remove their tributes from outside the late singer's former homes for the sake of his neighbours.
Tributes outside George Michael's house in Highgate, North London, UK, following the singer's death.
Singer George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics.
George Michael (right) presents Jonathan Ross with the 2009 Music Industry Trusts' Award at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London.
George Michael is seen performing in concert at Earls Court, London.
George Michael is seen performing in concert at Earls Court, London.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Singer George Michael performs at the MEN Arena in Manchester during his '25 Live' world tour.
Capital radio presenters Johnny Vaughn (left) and Zoe Hanson with George Michael after the singer interviewed Vaughn for Help a London Child.
George Michael receives the Lifetime Contribution Award during the 7th annual GQ Men Of The Year Awards at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, central London.
Singer George Michael (right) and his partner Kenny Goss arrive for Attitude Magazine's 10th Birthday Party at the Atlantic Bar & Grill in central London, to celebrate 10 years for the gay style magazine.
Singers George Michael and Geri Halliwell arrive at the 95.8 Capital FM London Awards in London.
This picture can only be used in conjunction with editorial on NetAid: Singer George Michael performing on stage at the charity NetAid concert, at Wembley Stadium.
This picture can only be used in conjunction with editorial on NetAid: Singer George Michael performing on stage at the charity NetAid concert, at Wembley Stadium.
Library filer dated 3/91 of singer George Michael in concert at Wembley. Police in Beverly Hills have arrested a man who gave his name as George Michael for "disorderly conduct". The man, who gave his occupation as singer, was booked under the name Georgios Panayiotou - the former Wham star's real name - it was confirmed today (Weds). See PA story POLICE Michael. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA.
PA NEWS PHOTO 29/5/97 SINGER GEORGE MICHAEL AT THE IVOR NOVELLO MUSIC AWARDS IN LONDON
Pop stars George Michael and Annie Lennox, after receiving the best male and female singers awards at Capital Radio FM's star-studded Help A London Child charity lunch at London's Royal Lancaster Hotel.
The Princess of Wales, Patron of the National Aids Trust, shakes hands with pop superstar Mick Hucknall, backstage at Wembley Arena before the Concert of Hope to mark World Aids Day. Also pictured next to Hucknall are David Bowie (r) and George Michael (l).
George Michael singing on stage during the concert.
Pop superstar George Michael in London after he accepted a six-figure undisclosed libel damages in the High Court against The Sun newspaper over stories that he gatecrashed a party being given by Andrew Lloyd Webber and was drunk and abusive.
Pop duo Wham partners, Andrew Ridgeley (l) and George Michael, on stage at Wembley Stadium for their sell-out farewell concert.
George Michael dances on stage at Wembley Stadium for the Wham! sell-out farewell concert.
George Michael at Wembley Stadium for the Wham! sell-out farewell concert.
Left to right: Bono of U2, Paul McCartney, and Freddy Mercury of Queen, during the finale.
Pop stars singing during the finale of the Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium: (L-R) George Michael, promoter Harvey Goldstein, Bono (lead singer of U2), Paul McCartney and Freddie Mercury (lead singer of Queen).
Top pop duo Wham! 20 year old singer George Michael (L) and his guitar playing partner Andrew Ridgeley. 21/10/04: Pop duo Wham! whose song Freedom was top of the charts twenty years ago this week.
George Michael (r) and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham at Heathrow Airport before leaving for a tour of Japan.
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In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said it was called by the London Ambulance Service at around 7.35pm on Wednesday to "reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s, at an address in Oak Hill Park, NW3".

It added: "The death is not being treated as suspicious by police.

"A report will be compiled for the Coroner into the circumstances."

Prior to Christmas this year, Michael's family told his fans that their kind messages "lift us when things are tough".

With the third anniversary of the singer-songwriter's death approaching, his relatives had also asked that people continue to do "good deeds in his memory".

His sisters, his father Jack and longtime manager David Austin shared a statement on Michael's official website saying that the family have "come to fully appreciate (although we already knew really), quite how much love there is out there in the world, for both Yog and his beautiful music".

Michael – whose real name was Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – sold more than 100 million albums throughout his career.

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