Melanie & Yioda Panayiotou
Melanie & Yioda Panayiotou are both the only sisters of 1980s pop icon George Michael –who sadly passed away on Christmas day, December 25th, 2016 of heart failure.
According to reports, the 53-year-old singer died peacefully in Goring, Oxfordshire, his publicist said.
Michael’s family announced news of his death in a statement issued through the singer’s publicist.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” it said.
“The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time. There will be no further comment at this stage.”
Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on June 25, 1963 in north London –sold more than 100 million albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades.
He’s topped charts from Austria to Australia. He’s sold-out stadiums from Tokyo to Tampa. He re-defined popular music with his debut solo album, 1987’s ‘Faith’ and has subsequently crafted a substantial, enormously popular body of work.
The iconic singer is survived by his father and two lovely sisters, Melanie & Yioda Panayiotou.
Melanie, Yioda and Michael were born to Lesley Angold and Kyriacos Panayiotou.
Yioda Panayiotou was Lesley’s and Kyriacos’ first born, she is Melanie’s and Michael’s older sister. Melanie Panayiotou is the middle child, with George being the couple’s third child and only son.
Their father, Kyriacos Panayiotou 80, is a Greek immigrant who changed his name to Jack Panos after he moved to England in the 1950’s. Their mother, was an English dancer who died of cancer in 1997.
Melanie Panayiotou 54 and Yioda Panayiotou 58, held a bedside vigil when in 2001 Michael was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. To the family, the famous singer was known by the nickname Yog, derived from his Greek name.
The family of five lived in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where Michael attended Bushey Meads School and subsequently met Wham! partner, Andrew Ridgeley.
As he rose to stardom, George didn’t speak much about his family. He once described his upbringing as ‘patriarchal’ and ‘oppressive’ –he also described his mother as a woman of great compassion and in 2007, he said he had hidden the fact he was gay because of worries over what effect it might have on his mother.
Not many details are known about Melanie or Yioda, George Michael’s sisters, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t close to the star. As an interesting fact, online sources report, when George made the video for Careless Whisper in Miami, the humidity made his hair curl. The embarrassed star made his sister Melanie cut it and re- shot half the video, making it the most expensive haircut in pop history.
The lovely Melanie Panayiotou was perhaps a bit more present in the professional life of her brother. She was pictured attending the Wham’s farewell party back in 1986 in London.
Melanie was 55 when her older sister Yioda Panayiotou found her dead inside her London Home on Christmas Day-2019, the sane day her brother died three years ago.