Boyzone's Gately dies in Mallorca

No cause of death given, singer was 33

LONDON -- Stephen Gately, a singer with the Irish boy band Boyzone, has died while on vacation in Spain, the group said on its Web site Sunday. He was 33.

Gately "tragically died" on Saturday while visiting the island of Mallorca, the band said in a brief statement. The cause of death was not immediately clear.

"At present we don't have too many details. The rest of the boys will be traveling to Majorca later this morning," the statement said.

Spanish police said they were called to a house near Port d'Andratx on the western tip of the island on Saturday afternoon. The cause of death was unknown and there were no signs of violence, a police spokesman said, on condition of anonymity in keeping with police rules. He said there was likely to be an autopsy.

The house, situated on an exclusive tree-lined seafront street, overlooks a rocky bay reputed to have some of the best sunset views on Spain's favorite holiday island.

Gately and his partner Andrew Cowles were in Mallorca together, the band's statement said. They were wed in a civil union in 2006.

Boyzone was a U.K. hitmaker in the 1990s and announced a comeback tour at the end of last year. Gately also had released several solo singles and appeared in stage musicals, including "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

The group's manager Louis Walsh told the News of the World, "We're all completely devastated."

Elton John said he and partner David Furnish were "stunned by this tragedy."

"Stephen was the kindest, gentlest soul. We send our love and condolences to his partner Andy and to all his friends everywhere," John said in a statement.

Boyzone was one of the biggest acts to come out of Ireland in the 1990s. Former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said Gately's death was "a huge tragedy to Irish entertainment, Irish music and further afield as well."

"Boyzone and Stephen, they've all been part of Irish life and far wider than that, the last 15 years, and so successful, so it's a huge, huge tragedy. It's so sad," Ahern said.
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