George Michael’s extraordinary acts of charity revealed – following his death in bed at his Oxfordshire home aged just 53
Stories of the incredible generosity of George Michael have raised hopes he may have left huge sums to good causes following his shock death aged 53 from suspected heart failure yesterday.
The singer – who sold more than 100million records with band Wham! and during a hugely successful solo career – passed away in his bed at home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire on Christmas Day afternoon.
A series of claims about his secret donations have since emerged, including that he gave huge sums to people he saw on TV or met during nights out.
Charities have also praised him for the thousands he helped raise during his life through concerts and donations, raising the prospect that the huge royalties from his records may go to charity.
His father Kyriacos, older sisters Melanie and Yioda as well as his ex-boyfriends may also be entitled to a share of his estimated 100million estate.
A number of examples of the star handing out money to people he thought were in trouble have emerged since his death, including a secret 15,000 donation he gave to a woman he saw on Deal Or No Deal who wanted IVF.
TV host Richard 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.’
Childline founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen also revealed that Michael had given the royalties from his 1996 number one single Jesus To A Child to the charity.
A journalist meanwhile tweeted that the star handed a barmaid a 5,000 tip after learning she was a student nurse who had large debts.
It has also emerged that as well as money he gave up his free time in aid of others, with a woman tweeting that Michael once worked alongside her in a homeless shelter.
These are among the last pictures taken of George Michael dining with friends at an Oxfordshire restaurant in September.
George Michael is seen at a restaurant this picture from September. He was found dead by a friend yesterday.
The singer was found dead by a friend at his home in Goring On Thames, where Christmas Tree lights still shine outside.
The singer’s fans came to his home Oxfordshire this morning, with many breaking down in tears as they laid flowers.
Candles were lit outside the star’s home in north London, where fans from around the world flocked to remember him.
The star donated royalties from some of his biggest selling singles and has made huge donations to Childline, the Terrence Higgins Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Michael’s former manager Michael Lippman said this morning that the star had died in bed as a result of suspected heart failure and there was ‘no foul play whatsoever’. Police are treating the death as ‘unexplained but not suspicious’.
He has not been photographed publicly since September and is understood to have lived a reclusive existence, with locals in his Oxfordshire village rarely seeing him leave his home.
Michael’s Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley and close friend Elton John have led the tributes to the star on social media. Mr Ridgeley tweeted: ‘Heartbroken at the loss of my beloved friend Yog. Me, his loved ones, his friends, the world of music, the world at large. 4ever loved. A xx’
Meanwhile Elton John posted a heartfelt message along with a picture of the pair together on his Instagram page.
He wrote: ‘I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend – the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family and all of his fans. @GeorgeMichael #RIP.’
By Alex Matthews and Richard Spillett for MailOnline