Died when: 33 years 207 days
Star Sign: Pisces
Stephen Patrick David Gately (17 March 1976 – 10 October 2009) was an Irish pop singer-songwriter, actor, children's writer, and dancer, who, with Ronan Keating, was co-lead singer of the pop group Boyzone. All of Boyzone's studio albums during Gately's lifetime hit number one in the United Kingdom, their third being their most successful internationally. With Boyzone, Gately had a record-breaking sixteen consecutive singles enter the top five of the UK Singles Chart. He performed for millions of fans globally. He released a solo album in 2000, after the group's initial break-up, which charted in the UK top ten and yielded three UK hit singles, including the top three hit "New Beginning". Gately went on to appear variously in stage productions and on television programmes as well as contributing songs to various projects. In 2008, he rejoined his colleagues as Boyzone reformed for a series of concerts and recordings. Gately made his sexuality known in 1999 and came out in a blaze of publicity. He wed Andrew Cowles, first in a commitment ceremony in Las Vegas in 2003 and more formally in a civil partnership ceremony in London in 2006. Upon Boyzone's reformation, Gately featured as part of the first gay couple in a boyband music video for "Better", in what was to be his last with the band. Gately died of a congenital heart defect on 10 October 2009, in a flat that he and Cowles owned in Mallorca, Spain. Brian Boyd in The Irish Times stated: "Stephen Gately’s death represents the first time that the boyband genre has had to deal with such a tragic situation". Tim Teeman of The Times (UK) heralded Gately as a hero of gay rights for his response to being "smoked out of the closet".