George Michael’s sister dies on Christmas Day, exactly three years after singer

Updated 12:36 PM EST, Fri December 27, 2019
George Michael, studio portrait, London, 1987. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
George Michael, studio portrait, London, 1987. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:03
'How it Really Happened': George Michael's Final Days
Now playing
01:12
Katy Perry and Pokémon celebrate its 25th anniversary
Ken Jennings hosts Jeopardy! on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Ken Jennings hosts Jeopardy! on Monday, January 11, 2021.
PHOTO: Jeopardy!
Now playing
01:11
The post-Alex Trebek era begins on 'Jeopardy'
Now playing
01:56
A dish-washing robot & a flying Cadillac: See the highlights from CES
PHOTO: LG Display
Now playing
01:10
See LG's transparent TV
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:37
From HD TVs to CDs, this retro tech was the hit of CES in 1989
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:49
Parler sues Amazon in response to being deplatformed
PHOTO: Photo Illustration: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Now playing
03:47
Why rapper Killer Mike is starting a Black bank
New KFC chicken sandwich
New KFC chicken sandwich
PHOTO: KFC
Now playing
01:06
These are the chicken sandwich war's newest contenders
CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 17:  Game show host Alex Trebek poses on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show Taping on April 17, 2010 in Culver City, California.  (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
CULVER CITY, CA - APRIL 17: Game show host Alex Trebek poses on the set of the "Jeopardy!" Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament Show Taping on April 17, 2010 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
Now playing
01:12
'Jeopardy!' pays tribute to late longtime host Alex Trebek
PHOTO: Twitter
Now playing
02:39
Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump from platform
(CNN) —  

George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou was found dead on Christmas Day, exactly three years after the British pop star died, the family’s lawyer has confirmed to CNN.

“We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly,” the family’s lawyer, John Reid, said in a statement on Friday.”We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time.”

London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement to CNN that emergency services were called to a home in north London on Wednesday evening due to “reports of the sudden death of a woman, aged in her 50s.”

George Michael with his sister, Melanie Panayiotou during the 1980s.
George Michael with his sister, Melanie Panayiotou during the 1980s.
PHOTO: MediaPunch Inc/Alamy

“The death is not being treated as suspicious by police,” the statement said, adding that the coroner will compile a report into the circumstances surrounding her death.

Panayiotou’s death came three years after Michael, 53, died suddenly in 2016 on Christmas Day. He left behind a catalogue of hits, including “Careless Whisper” and “Faith,” and the Wham! tracks”Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.”

An inquest attributed Michael’s death to “natural causes.”

The singer-songwriter, who shot to fame in the 1980s as one half of pop band Wham!, amassed a noteworthy and valuable collection during his lifetime.

Just 48 hours before her death, Panayiotou had issued a joint statement on Michael’s website.

“We will be swerving the bad and enjoying the good as much as we can this coming year,” the statement said, while also touching on the “power” of Michael’s songs.

“We know how much his lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is going well… and that is just as powerful now as if he were still with us and as many of you say in your messages, it’s a gift,” it said.

“It seems important that his generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched you in a way that would have him embarrassed, all your kind words are really good to hear and we know you have always known his true heart.”