Sunday, October 11, 2009

Boy Gone

Stephen Gately, the openly gay member of Irish boy band Boyzone, is dead.

The BBC reports:

Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has been found dead at the age of 33. He died on Saturday while on holiday in Majorca.

Spanish police said there were no signs of suspicious circumstances but that the cause of death was not yet known.
Gately was on holiday with his long-term partner Andy Cowles. A statement from the singer's bandmates said they were "devastated" at the news.
They are expected to travel to Majorca. The Irish band had six UK number one hits in the 1990s and reformed in 2007.

It takes a lot of courage for someone in the public spotlight to come out and live his life openly as a gay man. Stephen Gately was one such soul, and in his wake, other high-profile pop personalities such as N'Sync's Lance Bass and American Idol's Adam "Glamberace" Lambert have proudly worn their true colors. And while I was never a Boyzone fan, Gately seemed to be a decent human being who lived quietly with his partner and followed the beat of his own drum - not tabloid fodder like fellow singers George Michael and Boy George, who, despite their advantages in life, can't seem to break out of their spirals of self-destruction.

John Donne famously wrote: "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind."

I wanted to post my favorite Boyzone song "No Matter What" - which has always struck me as a gay love song, in the best way possible - but Universal Music has disabled embedding for that video. You can watch it here , and I've posted the lyrics below as an epitaph for Gately.


No Matter What - Boyzone
Andrew Lloyd Webber (music)/Jim Steinman(lyrics)

No matter what they tell us
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach us
What we believe is true

No matter what they call us
However they attack
No matter where they take us
We'll find our own way back

I can't deny what I believe
I can't be what I'm not
I know I'll love forever
I know, no matter what

If only tears were laughter
If only night was day
If only prayers were answered
Then we would hear God say

No matter what they tell you
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach you
What you believe is true

And I will keep you safe and strong
And sheltered from the storm
No matter where it's barren
A dream is being born

No matter who they follow
No matter where they lead
No matter how they judge us
I'll be everyone you need

No matter if the sun don't shine
Or if the skies are blue
No matter what the end is
My life began with you

I can't deny what I believe
I can't be what I'm not
I know, I know
I know this love's forever

That's all that matters now
No matter what


  1. this makes me sad.

    people seem to die at a young age these days. mostly after a night of fun and they just seem not to wake up.

    it just dawned to me, i have always consider my lifespan to be only up to 35. >.<

  2. @ i am beki : Sad indeed. Early news reports say he just had a few drinks with his partner, went to bed - and never woke up.

    As for you, don't put artificial limits on your lifespan. Life's an interesting - if sometimes painful - ride. Just buckle up and keep going.

  3. I wonder what happened to all the boybadnds that used to proliferate the airwaves and mtv during the late 90's-early 2000's?

  4. @ Eternal Wanderer : They ran their course, and as expected, it's usually the lead singers who go on to have successful solo careers: Ronan Keating of Boyzone, Robbie Williams of Take That, and the insufferable Justin Timberlake of N'Sync are just a few examples.

    Stephen Gately had a good voice but his solo career didn't quite seem to take off like Keating's. I don't know if his open sexual orientation had anything to do with it, but if Ricky Martin ever came out, I'm almost sure the fallout would be great.

    I know being outed - thanks to his own public restroom indiscretions - didn't do wonders for George Michael's career. Not that you couldn't tell he was gay from a mile away.

  5. someone from plurk announced he died. i didn't know who stephen gately was. siya nga pala yun.

    may his soul rest in peace.

  6. last night, we played his album new beginning.

    33? so young...

    may he rest in peace.

  7. @ engel : I'm surprised so many people on the US boards didn't even know who he was, too. Either Boyzone was only big in Europe and Asia, or the US is more insular than I thought.

    @ Metamorphosis : Yeah, it is. But at least he found love before he died.

    @ the geek : All deaths are losses, but the death of the young seems more tragic because of all the things they could still have achieved.

  8. boyzone didn't really take off in the states. they had to compete with bsb and n'sync. you know with americans being all patriotic and such.

  9. @ engel: NOW I know what's on your iPod :D

  10. Rude: hahahaha there you go. i was wondering about engel's music tastes, too

  11. @ Eternal Wanderer : Well, as his blog blurb says: "engel will reveal all - eventually." :P

  12. no don't get me wrong. i'm no boyzone fan. that's geek speak. in any case if you're curious my mp3 player when it was still working has songs from the script, kings of leon, james morrison, jon mclaughlin, matt white and all those unknown singers with really awesome music.

  13. @ engel : Wow, a connoisseur. I'm only vaguely aware of Kings of Leon. You don't listen to Andrew Bird, by any chance, do you?

  14. i was super shocked. kanina ko lang din nalaman.

    while i was never a fan either, it still kinda made me sad. he was one of the good ones.

  15. RIP Steven Gately, he was way too young