Boyzone are soon set to head out on tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary together as a band. The tour is also said to be a special tribute to the late Stephen Gately who passed away in 2009.
However, the band are currently locked in a messy feud with Stephen Gately’s estate as they have been forbidden from using any images or audio of the singer during the tour.
Band members Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy and fans alike around the world are saddened by the news that images and audio cannot be used during the tour, especially since it was originally launched as a tribute to Gately.
A source told The Sun: “It’s very sad this situation has developed given Stephen was probably the most passionate about keeping Boyzone going long-term”.
Gately suddenly passed away back in October 2009 whilst on holiday in Majorca from an undiagnosed heart condition.
Earlier this week, band member Shane Lynch told The Sun that the tour is “100 per cent a celebration of our relationship with Stephen” and a way for the guys and the fans to remember him.
It is said that the dispute appears to be with Stephen’s family as his widower Andrew Cowles had agreed for his voice and image to be used on tour. However, it is worth noting that nothing has been confirmed at this stage.
Lynch added: “We can never leave our Steo out. But unfortunately for us guys, you have Stephen’s estate in the background and it’s very difficult to take his image on board.
“Even though he was part of Boyzone, I don’t know to what extent we can involve him in the show. The estate has their say and sometimes it’s a bit difficult to come to a compromise of what we can and can’t use. Some people have different ideas of what’s right and what’s wrong. I don’t want to pinpoint any individual – I just call it the estate”.
Speaking about who the blame lies with for the feud, a source close to the band said: “The family haven’t consented and it’s possible that finances could be an issue. It’s all very sad”.
Of course, Boyzone will be pocketing money from the tour and the question of who would get Stephen’s share has been raised. Would it be given to his family or would it stay with Boyzone and the management. Who knows, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that something can be sorted in time for the tour.
The lads will head out on tour in November making stops in Manchester, London and Dublin, among more locations.