West End tribute to Gately

A star-studded evening of music and tributes was held in memory of Stephen Gately.

A star-studded evening of music and tributes was held in memory of Stephen Gately.

Celebrities from the world of showbusiness including his Boyzone bandmates turned out for the memorial concert in London’s West End last night.

Crowds of fans gathered in the pouring rain for the event, organised by Gately’s civil partner Andrew Cowles.

Bandmates Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch looked solemn and did not stop to speak to waiting press as they went into the Palace Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Among the celebrities on the red carpet were pop stars Duncan James and Lee Ryan from Blue, Chesney Hawkes, actor Leslie Phillips, 'Strictly Come Dancing' judge Bruno Tonioli and even Cherie Blair.

Gately’s family and partner also attended.

The 33-year-old died of natural causes due to a pulmonary oedema on October 10 at his holiday home on the island of Majorca.

Hawkes said he was still in a “daze” after Gately’s death.

He said: “I spent a lot of time with him over the summer, got to know him quite well.

“We worked together quite a lot writing songs.

“He has become a friend.

“I am just still walking around in a daze really – such a shock, so young, so vibrant, such a lovely guy. It’s just so sad.”

Tonioli said he had become friends with Gately through the showbusiness industry and paid tribute to what he managed to achieve in his short life.

“He was a very, very nice guy. He was the kindest, sweetest, most generous kid,” he said.

“It’s very tragic what happened but nevertheless we are here to celebrate his achievements because in that short time he managed to achieve a lot.

“As sad as it is, he has done amazingly.

“We are going to remember the good things.”

TV presenter Kristian Digby said Mr Cowles had “gone through hell and back” and criticised “negative” reporting of the singer’s death.

“He has got so many people wanting to show their friendship and love,” he added.

“Both of them are lovely guys – Stephen was, Andy is.”

Of the concert, Digby said it was “amazing” and showed how much “emotion and feeling” there was for Gately.

“This is very much a public showing of support for Stephen and the gay community.”

Digby described Gately as a “really fun, charismatic, loving, really gentle guy”.

As well as fans, the audience also included comedian Alan Carr, model and radio presenter Lisa Snowdon and ice skaters Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill.

Shayne Ward, who won the second series of 'X Factor', sang 'To Where You Are' by Josh Groban, which he dedicated to Gately.

Other performers included Liz McClarnon and Beverley Knight while a string of stars including Graham Norton and Ian McKellen were lined up to say a few words in his memory.

The event was compered by Christopher Biggins.

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