Stephen Gately, Louis Walsh (Pic: Rex)

Stephen Gately’s funeral: Louis Walsh pays tribute to Stephen Gately

Louis Walsh, former mentor to Stephen Gately as manager of Boyzone, has commented on the sad passing of Stephen Gately.

That statement in full:

“When I first met Stephen he was a young boy with a dream to be a pop star and performer, over fifteen years later and he fulfilled all those dreams, being part of one of the most successful boy bands, who sold over 20 million albums world wide, and landing the lead role in Joseph, fulfilling his dream of performing on the West End, and of course finding love in partner Andy.

“Stephen was one of life’s positive people with a lovely nature and he was someone who always had a smile on his face. He loved to laugh and joke and was always the life and soul of the party and would give everyone he met his time. He would always thank me for the success he’d gained through Boyzone but on reflection I should be the one to have thanked him as he brought so much into my life, and the career I’ve loved in pop music is largely down to Stephen and the rest of Boyzone”I have still not come to terms with the fact that I won’t see Stephen again, I keep expecting him to just turn up with a big grin on his face and deliver a cheeky wise crack. Just last week we had such a great night at the Pride of Britain Awards, Stephen wanted to join the table Sharon Osbourne and I were on and he kept popping over being as mischievous as ever, I can’t believe I won’t have nights like that with him again.

“I and all of Boyzone are completely broken, I’ve lost one of my best friends and Boyzone have lost a brother. The bond between the five was just amazing they were always there for each other and always supported each other in everything that they did. The way the four guys have rallied around each other, Andy and Stephen’s family this week is testament to the brotherhood of the group, I’ve truly never seen such closer bonds between anyone.

“We all want to celebrate Stephen’s life and remember him for all the warmth, humour and love that Stephen exuded. I know Stephen wouldn’t want us to mourn for him, but it is going to take all of us some time to get over the shock of losing someone we all loved so much. But I’ll remember Stephen for all the fun nights we had where we’d fall about laughing and joking.

“Andy and the family have asked that any donations go to Caudwell Children, for whom Stephen was an Ambassador.”

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October 17th, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney

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                                                                       Sir Paul McCartney signs up for Children In Need Rocks concert

Sir Paul Mccartney pic: Getty
Sir Paul McCartney is the latest celebrity to sign up to perform at the Children In Need Rocks concert.
Macca joins Leona Lewis, Muse, Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Snow Patrol and Dame Shirley Bassey for the November 12 show at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Organiser Gary Barlow also told the Mirror that Robbie Williams is a surprise guest.
He added: “I have asked Robbi
e to perform with us. It would be great to get back together on stage for charity.
Gary had been due to make the announcement at yesterday’s launch, but had to cancel following the sudden death of his father Colin.
Tickets, priced £50 to £100, will be allocated by ballot. Fans can buy up to two each and have until Tuesday to register at bbc.co.uk/pudsey.
The show will be broadcast on BBC1 next month.
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           Stephen Gately’s         funeralLouis Walsh speaks of his grief before walking into church

Distraught Boyzone manager Louis Walsh spoke of his grief at Stephen’s death before walking into church to attend his funeral.
He said:  “It’s a difficult day but we have to say goodbye to Stephen today.  And we have to celebrate his life.
“There’s an incredible atmosphere in the church. His friends, his family are in there – it’s what he would have wanted. He was a great  person and he never did anything to hurt anyone.”
Louis, who picked Stephen to be part of Boyzone, added: “It was an incredible journey but we never expected it to end so quickly.
“We thought we would have ten more years together as a band. It was his dream to be a pop star and he did everything he wanted in his life.
Louis also paid tribute to the moving gesture by his Boyzone bandmates to spend the night in church keeping vigil by Stephen’s coffin.
“As band manager he never gave me any problems. He just gave me great memories.”
Louis also paid tribute to the thousands of fans who had come to the church to say goodbye to Stephen
Louis said: “This is best place for him to be in the world. It is where he grew up and dreamed of being a pop star. The people out here today are real people. They are his fans. We all want to support his family today. Everyone loved Stephen. Today’s not about famous people it’s about real people.
Louis said that he has coped with the turmoil of the past week by trying to keep working hard.
He said: “I have just kept really busy. I have kept in constant touch with the other guys (from Boyzone). They are my best friends and we have all helped each other cope.”

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X Factor’s Danyl vows to win over judges with song

16/10/2009

Danyl Johnson (Pic:ITV)
Danyl Johnson has been rustling up a plan to wow the X Factor judges.
He intends giving a tasty performance tonight. And if that still fails to win their hearts, he’ll tempt them with homemade cake.
Last week, the 27-year-old teacher had a rough ride.
Louis Walsh and Cheryl Cole both accused him of not having “the likeability factor”. Then Dannii Minogue poked fun at bisexual Danyl’s decision to alter the lyrics of I’m Telling You so that he was singing the Jennifer Hudson song to a woman rather than a man.
Her “outing” comments sparked over 4,000 complaints to Ofcom.
But Danyl insists it has only made him even more determined to get the doubters on his side.
He said: “Last week went a bit like this… yes, that is silence from the crowd after what Dannii said.
“It was all a bit mad. But backstage it is all cool now and I just want to get up and sing again.
“Louis and Cheryl, I have to try to get them on my side and I don’t know how to do it.
“I need to bake them a cake or something, or buy her some expensive jewellery. I’ll do my best.
“It is divas week, it’s gonna be hard. I think it’s the fifth time I’ve sung a girl’s song.
I have a ballad and there’ll be a big note in there somewhere, if Simon Cowell has his way. I can’t wait.”
Despite the judges’ concerns, others are convinced Danyl does have the X Factor. One London fan yesterday bet £2,000 on Danyl to win the series, at odds of 4-1.
William Hills spokesman Rupert Adams said: “Some fans aren’t sure about Danyl yet, but this punter clearly is.
“He will collect £10,000 if his bet comes off.”
One of Danyl’s biggest rivals is Olly Murs, who is going all out to impress with his dancing skills.
Olly said: “Dancewise, anything I’ve ever done is off the cuff, I’ve never rehearsed anything in my life. The stuff you have seen is from me watching Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake and putting my own thing on it.”
Tonight, Cheryl Cole and Whitney Houston will sing on the show. And next week’s guests will be Michael Bublé and Westlife.
Michael Bublé said: “I remember last time having such a laugh.
“It all finished with me having Leon up on stage singing Home with me at Wembley. Amazing.”
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The Boyzone bear Stephen Gatelys coffin for emotional processio

16/10/2009

The coffin of Stephen Gately (Pic:PA)
Stephen Gately’s grief-stricken bandmates tonight bore the coffin of their friend during an emotional homecoming to his working-class roots.
Boyzone’s Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy were pallbearers for the singer as they carried his remains into a city centre church.
Gately’s heartbroken parents Margaret and Martin were consoled by close family, his partner Andrew Cowles and Boyzone manager Louis Walsh, who paid respects at a private prayer vigil and wake in Dublin’s north inner city.
Hundreds of local people and fans lined streets near St Laurence O’Toole Church paying their own tribute to the West End star.
They blessed themselves and held candles as the coffin passed, before giving the local hero a round of applause.
The hearse was covered in a large spray of white lilies and three flower arrangements reading ‘Our Son’, ‘Our Steo’ and ‘Our Brother’. Resident Bernadette Manly said they had come out in support of Gately’s parents, brothers Mark, Alan and Tony and devoted sister Michelle.
“You couldn’t get better people,” said Mrs Manly.
The Boyzone members, who are spending the night in the church, will perform at his funeral Mass tomorrow. They earlier paid tribute to Gately and their fans as they brought his remains home from Majorca. Stood arm in arm they were truly overwhelmed at the support they received in the week since he died.
“The countless messages of love and support we have received this week have truly overwhelmed ourselves and the Gately family,” he said. “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for each and every one of them.”
The weary looking bandmates have had discreet tattoos in honour of Gately, with the tribute “76 09″ clearly etched on Keating’s upper arm and Lynch’s hand.
It was the first time they have spoken publicly since the 33-year-old singer was found dead in his apartment last Saturday on the Spanish holiday island. Gately’s remains were flown home on a private plane with the remaining Boyzone members and Mr Cowles.
The singer’s body was brought to Jennings Funeral Directors in the Coolock area before being taken to Seville Place – a stone’s throw from where the singer played as a youngster.
Gerry Fay, of North Wall Residents Association, said everyone in the area was still in disbelief. “When Stephen came home he was just Stephen, there was no big deal,” said Mr Fay.
“He wasn’t the Stephen they all talk about, he was just an ordinary person.”
Fans from as far away as Taiwan travelled to the Irish capital for the funeral. Wendy Lee spent £1,000 flying 7,875 miles to reach her idol’s hometown.
“I want to say my final goodbye,” said Miss Lee with tears in her eyes.
The 26-year-old, who says she has not eaten or slept since she heard the news of his death, added: “Stephen was my favourite. I don’t know why – he was just so lovely.”
Walsh has said family, friends and loved ones must celebrate Gately’s life. A funeral party catering for 450 invited guests will be held in the exclusive Four Seasons Hotel, Ballsbridge, on Saturday evening.
Old friends and neighbours stunned at the singer’s sudden death have spent several days cleaning the nearby church, its grounds and surrounding area to make the terrace streets shine for the return of their son.
He was found dead on the sofa in his apartment in Port Andratx after a night out with Mr Cowles and friend Georgi Dochev.
A post-mortem examination found he died from natural causes, the medical report recording pulmonary oedema or fluid on the lungs.
The 25-year-old, who had been friends with the singer since last summer, said his death has left him unstable.
“What happened that night is what happened. We know the autopsy results. He died a natural death,” said Mr Dochev. He said he has been comforting Mr Cowles during the week and admitted he has been nervous and stressed since the star’s untimely death.
“I’m really scared of falling asleep now in case I don’t wake up,” he added. Gately’s partner has asked that mourners make a donation to the Caudwell Children Charity, of which the pop star was an ambassador, instead of sending flowers.

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