Stephen Gately, one of the two lead singers of the Irish pop group Boyzone and the first member of a “boy band” to come out of the closet when he did so in 1999, passed away over the weekend while on holiday in Spain. Boyzone had six No. 1 singles in the UK since its inception in 1993; the group broke up in 2000, and reunited in 2007 for a tour and a greatest-hits album that included a few new tracks.
Alexis Petridis at The Guardian has a good capsule of Gately’s career, and how his coming out paved the way for other pop stars like Lance Bass to be open about their sexuality. A few of Boyzone’s UK chart-toppers are below.
“No Matter What” (1998)
“When The Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)” (Live in 1999)
Gately was 33.
Boyzone’s Stephen Gately was no pioneer but he broke other barriers [Guardian]
Fans back Boyzone’s Stephen [BBC]