There’s no doubt British pop star George Michael was a musical genius, but it wasn’t until after his death on Christmas Day 2016 that news spread of the incredible generosity he had shown helping others throughout his life. Here’s just a few stories of his astonishing kindness.
“A woman who appeared on TV show Deal Or No Deal told us she needed 15k for IVF treatment,” said presenter Richard Osman, “George secretly phoned in the next day and gave her the 15k.”
“George worked anonymously at a homeless shelter I was volunteering at. I’ve never told anyone — he asked we didn’t. That’s who he was,” said actor Emelyne Mondo.
“A lady from a children’s charity once told me they were only still afloat because of George Michael,” said Kate Waugh.
DJ Mick Brown said, “Every Easter at Capital Radio, when I was on air with Chris Tarrant for ‘Help A London Child’, George would call in at 3.30pm with a £100,000 donation.”
“He gave a stranger in a cafe 25k as she was crying over debt,” remembers one fan, “[He] told the waitress to give her the check after he left.”
“[He] once gave a free concert for NHS nurses as a thank you for looking after his late mother,” said one Twitter user.
Jane Barron, a representative of an HIV charity, said George’s donations “contributed to a vision of a world where people living with HIV live healthy lives”.
“I wrote ages ago about a celeb I’d worked with tipping a barmaid £5,000 because she was a student nurse in debt. It was George Michael,” remembered journalist Sali Hughes.
“George Michael was also the only star on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire who, when gambling all the charity’s cash, said, ‘If I lose it, I’ll just pay it,'” added Sali.
And Esther Rantzen, founder of child abuse charity Childline, said: “George gave the royalties from his 1996 number one single Jesus To A Child to charity. He gave millions that helped save hundreds of thousands of children.”
“For years, he was the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline, but he was determined not to make his generosity public, so no one outside the charity knew how much he gave.”
What an amazing man. RIP, George Michael.