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Stephen Gately: Pop world stunned by death of Boyzone star

Boyzone star Stephen Gately is believed to have died after falling ill in his sleep following a night out.

Spanish police were last night following a line of inquiry that the 33-year-old died of natural causes, and believe he may have choked after getting sick.

However, a post mortem examination on the singer will not take place until tomorrow because it is a bank holiday in Spain today.

The Dubliner was in Majorca with his partner Andrew Cowles.

Mr Cowles told friends that he put Stephen down on a sofa in their apartment in Port Andratx at around six o'clock on Saturday morning.

They had been out drinking on Friday night with another friend, who police are keen to talk to, and were also seen in a nightclub.

But Mr Cowles found Stephen dead on the sofa at around 1.45 on Saturday afternoon and immediately dialled 999.

Police quickly established that the death was not suspicious and also say that there was no evidence of drug taking.

Stephen and his partner owned the luxury apartment, worth over €1m, in the south west of Majorca. The Boyzone star is understood to have been spending time there working on his children's novel, ‘The Tree of Seasons', which he hoped to release in time for Christmas.

Last Tuesday, he posted on his Twitter website: “Still busy — lots going on. Focussing on finishing my book next so may be quiet here.”

Solicitor Gerald Kean — a long-term personal friend of the singer — is acting as the Gately family advisor. They were too upset to talk to the media last night

They are yet to decide if they will travel to Majorca but the four other members of Boyzone flew out yesterday, including Ronan Keating, who was supposed to be running a marathon in Chicago for the Marie Keating Foundation.

Band manager Louis Walsh also pulled out of presenting hit show 'The X Factor' last night.

It is expected that Stephen's body will not be returned to Ireland until the end of this week. Band members Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch released a statement yesterday in which they said they were “devastated by the loss of our friend and brother”.

“We have shared such wonderful times together over the years and were looking forward to sharing so many more. Stephen was a beautiful person in both body and spirit.”

Mr Kean yesterday said that the family was shocked and devastated but he praised Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin who he said was providing the Gatelys with excellent help.

Stephen had only travelled back to Majorca in the last few days. He was at an awards ceremony in London on Monday and also attended former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's book launch in Dublin last week.

The death is expected to be dealt with by an investigating judge in Spain.

Stephen Gately is survived by his older brothers Mark and Alan, his younger brother Tony and his sister Michelle, as well as his mother, Margaret, and father, Martin.

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