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PASSINGS / Stephen Gately

Boyzone singer who came out

October 14, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Stephen Gately, 33, a singer with the Irish boy band Boyzone who made headlines when he came out as gay a decade ago, "tragically died" Saturday while visiting the Spanish island of Mallorca, the band said in a brief statement /. The cause of death was not immediately clear.

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

Boyzone was a U.K. hit-maker 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."

Gately was born in Dublin, Ireland, on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1976. He revealed his sexual orientation to a British newspaper in 1999.

Boyzone was one of the biggest acts to come out of Ireland in the 1990s. The band sold millions of records and topped the British charts with six No. 1 singles during the 1990s, including "All That I Need" and a cover of the Bee Gees' "Words."

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news.obits@latimes.com

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