Credit: Shutterstock/Stephen Gately

I think it's important to hug. It costs nothing and it's a really lovely way of showing that you care

It was a real-life "rags to riches" story. Stephen Gately was born in Dublin to working-class parents and went on to be a singer in Boyzone, one of the most successful male pop bands of Ireland and the UK.

After answering an advertisement in 1993, Gately went to audition for a new Irish boy band managed by the pop impresario Louis Walsh. Within a year of him joining, Gately and the band broke into the British and UK charts, and by 1995 had a number one album.

Boyzone went from strength to strength, achieving a record sixteen consecutive singles in the UK Singles Chart top five. Stephen Gately then had a solo career when the band took a break from performing together. He also took a turn at acting, with roles in the West End and on television. Not long beforfe he died, he'd proved another talent, with the publication of his first fantasy novel foer younger readers, The Tree of Seasons.

Stephen died of natural causes aged just 33 due to an undiagnosed congenital heart condition. Thousands of fans from all over the world, prominent members of society, and his bandmates attended his funeral in Dublin and an outpouring of sympathy followed. His bereaved bandmates said, "He was a true performer, full of life and spirit. A true friend, full of love and friendship. Believing in joy, compassion, love and equality."