So much of his life was public. But as fans mourn George Michael, dead at 53, revelations about the British singer’s secret generosity have set social media alight.
TV presenter Richard Osman tweeted that the former Wham! star had discreetly telephoned the UK game show ‘Deal or No Deal’ with the £15,000 a contestant needed for IVF treatment.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) 26 décembre 2016
George was the mystery ‘celeb’ that journalist Sali Hughes wrote about – a benefactor who gave a barmaid a £5,000 tip because she was in debt as a student nurse.
The star privately volunteered at a homeless shelter, asking for this to remain hidden.
And he made big donations for children, including £100,000 pounds each year for the Capital Radio station’s charity appeal, as revealed by former presenter Mick Brown.
A gay man himself, who had lost a partner to HIV, George Michael campaigned for LGBT rights and backed the HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust.
And he helped one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief, by giving £50,000 to comic actor and writer David Walliams when he swam the English Channel.
Heart failure is said to be behind the unexplained death of George Michael at his home in Oxfordshire in southern England on Christmas morning.
As more details emerge of the singer’s final days and hours, his kindness to strangers will be remembered alongside his hugely successful music.