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.
A woman on 'Deal Or No Deal' told us she needed £15k for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15k.— 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.
I wrote in a piece ages ago about a celeb I'd worked with tipping a barmaid £5k because she was a student nurse in debt. Was George Michael.— Sali Hughes (@salihughes) 26 décembre 2016
The star privately volunteered at a homeless shelter, asking for this to remain hidden.
George Michael 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— EMILYNE MONDO (@EmilyneMondo) 26 décembre 2016
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.
Every Easter at Capital 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— Mick Brown (@djmickbrown) 25 décembre 2016
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.