(CNN) – George Michael’s sister Melanie Panayiotou was found dead on Christmas Day, exactly three years after the British artist passed away, the family’s lawyer confirmed to CNN.
“We can confirm that very tragically Melanie passed away suddenly,” said the family’s attorney, John Reid, in a statement published Friday. “We would simply ask that the privacy of the family be respected at this sad time,” he added.
The London Metropolitan Police reported in a statement sent to CNN that emergency services were called to a house in North London on Wednesday night due to “reports of the sudden death of a woman in her 50s.”
“The police do not treat the death as suspicious,” the statement explained, adding that the coroner will compile a report on the circumstances surrounding the death.
Panayiotou’s death comes exactly three years after Michael, 53, suddenly died in 2016 on Christmas Day. He left behind a catalog of hits, including “Careless Whisper,” “Faith,” and The Wham! Songs, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Last Christmas.”
An investigation attributed Michael’s death to “natural causes.”
The singer-songwriter, who rose to fame in the 1980s with his pop band Wham !, amassed a remarkable and valuable collection during his lifetime.
Just 48 hours before his death, Panayiotou had released a joint statement on Michael’s website.
“We will deflect the bad and enjoy the good things as much as we can this coming year,” while also playing the “power” of Michael’s songs, the statement read.
“We know how much your lyrics can offer support when things are tough and help celebrate when times are good and life is good… and that is as powerful now as if you were still with us and as many of you say in your messages: it’s a gift ”, he added.
“It seems important that their generosity of spirit and natural empathy have touched them in a way that would embarrass him, all their kind words are really good to hear and we know that they have always known their true hearts,” the statement read.