After his death, fans came forward to share stories about how he supported and touched lives.
The singer who wrote and sang the kind of love songs that would make one feel pain and solace at the same time; touched people's lives in ways more than one and we didn't know about it until he was gone. George Michael's professional and private life were wildly public and always subjected to scrutiny. Which makes it even harder to believe that the iconic singer's constant acts of kindness and charity never made it to the headlines.
Since his death, fans and charities have come forward to vouch for his generosity and unravel his philanthropic side. The star often kept aside tickets for NHS staff at his concerts and once gave an entire special concert free of charge for nurses as a token of gratitude for the care they had given his mother a decade earlier, reports The Guardian.
According to the Associated Press reports, charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Childline, and the London-based HIV-awareness organization Terrence Higgins Trust were quietly aided by the Last Christmas hitmaker. Not only did he make repeated large donations to such entities, he worked hard to keep it under the wraps, the National Public Radio reports.
He donated the royalties from his 1991 duet with Elton John, Don't let the sun go down on me, to the Trust. His repeated donations to the Trust were kept private. As per The Guardian, the on-stage charmer who lost his partner Anselmo Feleppa to an Aids-related illness in 1993, felt deeply for the cause, hence, his donations to the charity.Jane Baron of the Terrence Higgins Trust said at the time, "We are so saddened by the loss of George Michael. George also often thought of us to kindly donate experiences and gifts that were used to raise vital funds to help us support people living with HIV."
"Along with other charities, we were grateful to benefit from the royalties of George's 1991 duet with Elton John, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," Baron added. "His donations contributed to a vision of a world where people living with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination."
Also, the returns from the 1996 song, Jesus to a child, was donated to Childline. The founder of the organization told AP that he donated millions of dollars to the charity and was "determined" that no one outside the charity must know how much he has donated. He donated the royalties from Last Christmas/Everything She Wants to Ethiopian famine relief and the list goes on.
Many fans took to Twitter to reveal the big and small ways he had helped people in need. While his frequent performances to support charities did get mentions in the press but nothing apart from that ever came to the fore.
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) December 25, 2016
TV presenter Richard Osman revealed on Twitter that he gave a woman £15k 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) December 26, 2016
he gave a stranger in a cafe £25k as she was crying over debt. Told the waitress to give her the cheque after he left.— VectorVictoria (@V3ct0rv1ct0r) December 26, 2016
Author and journalist Sali Hughes revealed that Michael had once tipped a barmaid £5,000 "because she was a student nurse in debt". Actor Emilyne Mondo wrote that Michael had volunteered at a homeless shelter with her, but had asked the others there not to publicize the fact, reports The Guardian.
While George Michael's era-defining songs, charming stage presence and whacky sense of style were lauded and eyed by millions of people around the globe, behind his smile he hid the other, endearing reality of his life which he would never reveal to the world. After his death, these accounts that announce Michael's generosity will forever remain a testimony to the ray of hope and goodness he left in the world.