Its taken me 4 years to write this post, for lots of reasons but I felt the time was right now – on the 4th anniversary of his death.
For ages I just knew of Stephen Gately as the little guy in Boyzone and despite running into him over the years through work, I’d never really properly met him until a couple of years before his death. Stephen was a very good friend of a very good friend of mine and I met him at her 30th birthday dinner; we bonded straight away over our most favourite thing – singing.
Our friend’s birthday was at a karaoke restaurant and I remember being blown away by Stephen’s voice; I had loved quite a few Boyzone songs and knew he could sing but hearing him sing in a small room with his cheeky charisma, he just melted me! I started to sing a song called Kiss me and within minutes Stephen had grabbed a microphone and joined in to harmonise, I had never sounded so good with him lending a helping hand! I am lucky enough to have a video of this moment and really treasure it as you can imagine.
It was the start of a lovely little friendship; every time we met, Stephen, his husband Andrew and myself would always end up in a corner of a pub or outside somewhere bursting in to song! Stephen was always exasperated that I couldn’t learn the harmonies to the musical ‘Wicked’ and often made me soo jealous that he could sing any note perfectly, though he did always try and teach me over a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.
I didn’t know Stephen for as long as some or as well as some but the time I did know him was enough for him to make a big impact on my life and we always had so much fun.
We often exchanged funny texts about my love for George Michael, general showbiz gossip etc.. The last conversation I had with him on text, he was at a karaoke night funny enough, he was about to sing Beyonce – Halo, whilst I suggested Black Eyed Peas. I always smile when I think of his last text to me that simply said ‘BOOM BOOM POW’! It kind of summed up our short but sweet friendship beautifully.
Since we lost our lovely friend Stephen, strong friendships have been formed between us – the friends he left behind. Although he is no longer here we think of him always and I am not only grateful that I knew him but for the wonderful friends he has brought into my life since, though bitter sweet. We will never forget him – no matter what.
RIP Stephen xx