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Boyzone death 'tragic accident'

12 October 09 16:49 GMT

The family of Boyzone star Stephen Gately say his sudden death in Spain at the age of 33 was a "tragic accident".

The Irish singer died on Saturday while on holiday in Majorca with his civil partner Andy Cowles.

Gately had gone home early from a night out but a spokesman for his family attributed his death to natural causes and ruled out drugs and suicide.

According to solicitor Gerald Kean, a post-mortem is expected to be carried out on Tuesday.

Gately's family hope to fly his body home by the end of the week for a funeral in Dublin.

The four remaining members of Boyzone flew out to Majorca on Sunday night, and spent Monday afternoon consoling Cowles, with whom Gately had been in a civil partnership since 2006.

Earlier, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch issued a statement paying tribute to "our friend and brother".

"We have shared such wonderful times together over the years and were all looking forward to sharing many more.

"Stephen was a beautiful person in both body and spirit. Our love and sympathy go out to Andrew and Stephen's family. We love you and will miss you forever."

Take That also paid tribute, saying they were "deeply saddened" to learn of the singer's "tragic passing".

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew and Stephen's family, friends and bandmates," the former boy band wrote on their official website.

Night out

It is believed that Gately died after falling asleep on a sofa after a night out in the city of Palma.

Police said there were "no signs of suspicious circumstances".

It had been widely reported that Gately and Cowles returned to their luxury holiday apartment with another man.

However, Gately's family lawyer has now said "there is no indication" that a third man was present.

"There's certainly no third party involved," Mr Kean told ITV1's This Morning on Monday.

He also rejected claims that Gately had been on "an eight-hour drinking binge", saying the singer had been in Palma for no more than three hours.

"I think all the information that we have would indicate natural causes," Mr Kean continued.

"We certainly would hope to get answers to that following the post-mortem."

Gately's boy band enjoyed huge success in the 1990s, scoring six UK number one singles.

They reformed in 2007 before embarking on a 29-date tour in the summer of 2008.

A spokesman for Boyzone told the BBC the band had recently started work on a new album, and that Gately had been writing material with Ronan Keating.

There had been meetings with the Polydor record label and the band had been assembling a team of writers and producers, he added.

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