Ronan Keating says late music icon George Michael was the "most influential person" in his life.
The Boyzone frontman, who was a huge fan of Micheal in childhood, said he was fortunate to find a friend and mentor in him later in life.
"The most influential person in my life had been George Michael. He was very important to me and was one of my musical heroes growing up. Then he became a friend and mentor and someone I'd lean on," Keating told New! magazine.
The singer said facing the deaths of his mother and former bandmember Stephen Gately was the "toughest challenges" he struggled with.
"My mum had cancer so you're kind of building walls and preparing to protect yourself, but with Stephen it was so out of the blue.
"He was so young - it was the craziest thing ever in our lives. It's still hard to understand," he said.
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