George Michael – The Secret Philanthropist

George Michael, global pop superstar, passed away on Christmas Day.

He will be remembered as one of the voices of his generation, as well as a pioneer for the LGBT movement.

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The singer died in his sleep at his home in Oxfordshire, England and tributes have been pouring in from all over the world since.

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period,” George Michael’s publicist told PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly. “The family would ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult and emotional time.”

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As well as the outpouring of social media tributes and celebrity recollections, another form of posthumous information is emerging about the star. It appears that, throughout his long and hugely successful career, George Michael was an active and tireless philanthropist. The difference between him and many celebrities was that he kept it all secret.

Michael’s ex-partner Kenny Goss said that he was a “kind and generous man” as reports of his charitable work was made public.

Michael’s former partner Mr Goss said he was devastated at the death, which is being treated by police as “unexplained but not suspicious”.

In a statement Mr Goss said: “I’m heartbroken with the news that my dear friend and long-time love George Michael has passed.

“He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much. He was an extremely kind and generous man.

“The beautiful memories and music he brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him.”

Michael’s manager Michael Lippman said it was believed he had died from heart failure.

Singer Billy Bragg posted an earnest and heartfelt tribute to his 80s contemporary.

And more came in from other Twitter users.

Many praised the gracious way in which Michael set about helping those whom he felt needed it.

According to The Guardian:

Beatles fans and Liverpudlians also paid tribute to Michael, who bought the piano John Lennon used to compose Imagine for £1.4m from a private collector in 2000.

He donated it to the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, where it had previously been on loan, so that it could be kept in Lennon’s hometown for ever, saying it was “not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people”.

It was also reported that Michael donated the royalties from Last Christmas/Everything She Wants to Ethiopian famine relief. Proceeds from Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me were given to the London Lighthouse Aids hospice and the Rainbow Trust children’s charity.

Colin J McCracken
Colin J McCracken

Director and Executive Editor

Colin J McCracken is an Irish editor and writer of both fiction and journalism. Coming from a background in education and film, his passions are split between the environmental and the entertaining. Constantly striving for a more sustainable existence and trying to balance it while simultaneously buying too many books.