Ronan Keating broke down in tears as he made a moving speech at his tragic bandmate Stephen Gately's funeral on Saturday (17Oct09).
Keating and the other surviving members of Boyzone - Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham and Keith Duffy - fought through their grief to perform poignant track In This Life at Gately's service at the St Laurence O'Toole's Church in Dublin, Ireland.
All four then paid tribute to Gately, with Keating making the congregation laugh with anecdotes about his late pal.
He said, "Steo loved to laugh and how we laughed! He had nicknames for all us - Keith was Kitty, Shane was Shanise, Mikey was Michaela, I was Rosalyn and he was Stephanie.
"He loved it when we were all together. We were the campest straight band we knew. That is why Ste always felt so comfrotable. He was so excited at the prospect of the new Boyzone studio album and he called me on Friday after receiving a bunch of new songs, saying how much he loved them."
Keating then moved on to the harrowing events of the past week, and struggled through sobs as he said, "It is with a heavy heart and great sadness I say the world has lost one of its brightest stars.
"We have lost our brother and I have lost my wingman. He will live on in the songs and whenever us four are together his spirit is alive. So, for Stephen, we're going to carry on but it will never be the same without him. I'm sorry.
"A beautiful man who is now the perfect angel. Forever young and never forgotten. A man, friend, a brother, a son, a husband and a hero. Gonna really miss you brother. Love you. We always will. We know you've found peace. Perfect peace."
Duffy also made a speech about Gately, addressing the late star's husband Andy Cowles and his parents, Martin and Margaret: "Louis Walsh created a band, we created a brotherhood. We feel very blessed that we got to experience that. We tried to protect him, our little brother. Andy, you've got four more brothers now. We are there if you ever need us. Martin and Margaret you have four more sons."
Graham added: "He brought colour to the band and the band feels black and white without him."
Keating sang again at the end of the service and all four of Gately's bandmates carried his coffin out of the church and placed it into a hearse at 1.30pm local time.
The members of Boyzone embraced Gately's parents on the street outside the church, as devastated fans looked on.
The band's manager Louis Walsh, Westlife, Jason Donovan and Sir Elton John's husband, David Furnish, attended the ceremony.
Victoria and David Beckham, George Michael, Take That and rockers U2, who were unable to attend the service, sent messages of support to the grieving family.
Gately was found dead at his Majorcan home earlier this month (10Oct09). A post-morten report ruled the singer died after suffering a build-up of fluid on the lungs.
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