Irish pop group Boyzone have been honoured by gay rights campaigners in London - with officials preparing a special tribute for late member Stephen Gately.
Gately, who passed away in Majorca, Spain, last month (09) from natural causes, hit the headlines a decade ago (99) when he 'came out' as a gay man.
The boyband publicly supported his decision by including a same-sex love scene in their 2008 music video Better.
And the band's efforts were rewarded by officials at gay campaign group Stonewall at the organisation's annual awards ceremony on Thursday night (05Nov09) - they were handed the Entertainers Of The Year prize.
The trophy was collected by Gately's widower, Andrew Cowles, who praised Stonewall bosses for recognising his late husband's contribution to the gay community.
Cowles told the audience, "A few years ago Boyzone made pop music history by featuring a gay kiss in one of their videos. That was not a marketing stunt, it was simply a mark of respect for Stephen and his sexuality."
The businessman also took the opportunity to address a controversial newspaper article, published in Britain's Daily Mail last month (Oct09), which took a negative view on gay marriage and suggested there was "nothing natural" about Gately's death.
He added, "I would like to take this opportunity to say how insensitive some of the press have been in their reporting of Stephen's death. In particular I would like to thank everybody who contacted the Press Complaints Commission about the Jan Moir Daily Mail article."
Moir, the writer behind the piece, was named Bigot of the Year at the ceremony.