Many of the notoriously private George Michael’s sweetest acts of kindness have only been revealed after his death on Christmas Day in 2016, with people speaking out to share how he helped them
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As a global icon and best-selling artist, George Michael and his catalogue of hits are known the the world over.
But being notoriously private in his personal life, it wasn’t until after George’s death in 2016 that the extent of his generosity was truly revealed.
In the five years since George died on Christmas Day, some incredible acts of kindness have been revealed by those that he helped.
Just this month the late singer was outed as the mysterious benefactor lighting up the London borough he once lived every festive season.
On the fifth anniversary of George’s death, we take a look at some of the Wham! star’s most kind-hearted deeds.
Lighting up his hometown at Christmas
Earlier this month, reports emerged that pointed a finger at George as the mysterious donor behind one of London’s most impressive Christmas light displays.
Years on from his death, George is thought to responsible for keeping Highgate lit every Christmas, as their secret donor.
The George Michael estate is said to have kept up the annual donation ever since the singer died on Christmas Day 2016.
North London born George lived in the Highgate area until his death and is also buried in the local cemetery beside his mum Leslie and sister Melanie.
After his death he was also revealed to have paid for the Highgate Christmas tree.
Working undercover at homeless shelters
After George’s death, some of his colleagues at a homeless shelter came forward to reveal he had put in shifts alongside them to help out.
They explained that George had frequently visited the shelter but asked them to keep his work there a secret.
Emilyn Mondo said on Twitter : “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.”
Paying off strangers’ debts
A journalist revealed how George once gave a barmaid a huge tip after learning she was a student nurse in debt.
After chatting with lady at the bar George offered her a very generous £5,000 tip before leaving.
Covering the cost of a woman’s IVF treatment
Hours after news of George’s death broke on Christmas Day, Pointless presenter Richard Osman revealed an TV inside secret that left fans bawling.
He tweeted that George called up Channel 4’s Deal or No Deal to offer to donate some money to a female contestant who had missed out on money she desperately wanted for IVF treatment after being touched by her story.
Osman tweeted: “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.”
Incredibly, a woman named Lynette Gillard then replied to Richard’s tweet, saying: “For many years I wondered who had donated this money, and now I know.
“Thank you. RIP George what an amazing person.”
Donating to keep HIV trust running in memory of first love
In 1993, George sent a cheque for $500,000 to the Terrence Higgins Trust in memory of his first love, Anselmo Feleppa, who died at the age of 36 from HIV.
Jane Barron from the organisation later revealed that George ‘personally supported’ the charity behind the scenes for many years.
“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.
“His donations contributed to a vision of a world where people living with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination.
“Thanks to George’s legacy, we are a step closer to that world and we are so grateful for his support and friendship over the years.”
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