Pop icon George Michael was a committed Good Samaritan who expressed his sense of charity in a quiet, understated manner, say fans and followers of the internationally known singer.
Michael's death from heart failure on Christmas Day shocked the world. The 53-year-old died at his home in Goring-upon-Thames, Oxfordshire, England. Fans and observers claim he had carried out multiple acts of kindness throughout his life.
Since his death, tales of his generosity have appeared on social media.
One of his online followers claims he volunteered at a homeless shelter as an anonymous helper. He asked those who worked at the facility not to tell others about his charitable work there.
"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," activist Emilyne Mondo posted on Twitter, the Independent reports.
Michael chose to remain anonymous to keep the press at bay, Mondo says.
"It is my belief that the reason for anonymity was to avoid press intrusion. This obviously can't happen now," she said. "And of course a want and need to help others. As usual there are a lot of stories about the controversy and difficult times he had. The story is a real account of a generous human."
One Twitter user claimed Michael handed a stranger in a cafe around $30,000 because she was crying over debt.
"Told the waitress to give her the check after he left," the Twitter user said.
Other charitable acts undertaken by the pop icon include having secretly donated $18,400 to a woman who went on the show "Deal or No Deal" who was trying to raise funds to pay for fertility treatments.
He also reportedly tipped a student nurse in debt $6,125 while she was working at a bar. One time, he performed a free concert for British nurses as a special thank you for their help in taking care of his mother Lesley, who died from cancer in 1997, Mashable reports.
The singer had then commented that: "The nurses that helped my family at that time were incredible people and I realized just how undervalued they are."
A nurse at the concert, Sally Lyons, said: "A nervous George Michael took to the stage with a bad cold and told us he’d played in front of crowds all over the world but was anxious because he’d never performed in front of so many heroes before."
Michael would donate royalties from his most popular hits to British charities including Childline, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Terrence Higgins Trust, among others.
“For years now he has been the most extraordinarily generous philanthropist, giving money to Childline. But he was determined not to make his generosity public, so no one outside the charity knew how much he gave to the nation’s most vulnerable children,” Childline representative Dame Esther Rantzen said, the Press Association reports.
“I think all of us have memories of particular Wham! songs and George Michael songs which mean a great deal to us. Certainly, for Britain’s children, George Michael meant so much more,” she said.