Sunday, October 11, 2009

Goodnight Stephen, you made things better.

It was four hours ago when I first found out about the news, and my first thought was - this can't be true, it must be another cruel hoax, especially considering that most sites that carried the news have been quoting News of the World. As I maniacally did a search for more credible sources - the band's official web site, BBC, etc - I kept muttering to myself, "this can't be true, no, can't be, he's so young." I just had to let the news sink in: Stephen Gately, at 33, had died in his sleep while vacationing in Majorca, Spain. And then it hit me: I've never had the chance to see Boyzone in concert. Ever. I'm still reeling from the shock and I know that to many people, Stephen Gately was just another boyband member, and one who came out about his sexuality.

But Boyzone has always had a special place in my heart, even after all these years. And just like how people argued over whether John or Paul was better, the same can be said for Ronan and Stephen, but Boyzone being Boyzone, it was never really about who was better. It was about making good music - songs that were about more than just falling in love with girls or heartbreak. In all their songs, there was always a sense of humility and maturity. Just take a look at the video for "Better" (above) -- how many mainstream boybands would openly embrace same-sex relationships? Sure, I'm not ashamed to say that I had my girly teenage crush moments screaming at the screen when Stephen appeared in the "Key To My Life" video but at the same time, "Arms of Mary," "I'm Learning" and "Where Did You Go" probably unknowingly shaped my concept of what love means. And until today, "She Moved Through The Fair" still gives me shivers.

For the record, I actually bought Stephen's "New Beginning" album. Don't know what I'm talking about? See videos here: New Beginning, I Believe, Stay. For a cheeky side of see Stephen performing Beyonce's "Single Ladies" live in Wembley in 2009.

Stephen just oozed an easy charm that came so naturally, and the fact that he always seemed to shy away from interviews when he was in Boyzone just made him more adorable. You always knew when it was Stephen singing, sweet, beautiful and innocent. There will always be a place in my heart for Stephen Gately, and when I grow old & grey, my memories of Stephen Gately will keep me smiling. I know this love's forever and that's all that matters, no matter what.

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Anonymous Sam Kaufman said...

I was shocked when i heard the news about Stephen Gately, he was still so young

12:12 AM  

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