Numerous accounts of George Michael’s generosity emerged online when he passed away on December 25, 2016. The pop superstar was a dedicated philanthropist, donating millions to charitable causes unbeknownst to the public.
From setting up charitable foundations that provide grants to offering charity records where proceeds go to various charities to simple, ordinary acts of kindness, George’s charitable acts knew no bounds. Some of the stories that emerged after his death focused on George’s smaller gestures that didn’t depend on his millions.
And what’s even more remarkable is that he did all these under-the-radar, choosing to do his good deeds quietly and even anonymously.
While we will never get to know the full extent of George’s generosity, this video lists down some of the amazing charitable works he did during his lifetime (note that this is by no means complete):
Video: George Michael’s Acts of Charity
Slides Used in the Video
Below are the slides used in the video. For more details on some of George Michael’s acts of charity, click on the links provided in the slide explanation:
When George Michael passed away on December 25, 2016, stories of his quiet generosity and good deeds came out.
While famous for his musical genius and wonderful voice, and his life a constant tabloid fodder, no one knew the extent of his philanthropy and charitable acts.
George Michael’s philanthropy is legendary, and many stories on the extent of his charitable giving have come to light after his passing.
Years of good works that received little to no publicity — largely because George Michael insisted on keeping his charity work out of the limelight.
As George once said in a 1999 interview with The Express:
To be honest with you, I really don’t like to talk about the amount I’ve given to charity over the years, I know it’s very substantial. I don’t exactly know what it is and I don’t really like to linger on it
Here are some of the philanthropy works of George, the causes he supported and the charity works he did through the years.
George set up the charitable grant maker Platinum Trust in 1990 and has given millions to various charities. Read George Michael in The Observer’s ‘Wealth, Hope and Charity’ (1994)
Journalist Sali Hughes tweeted about a celebrity who “I’d worked with tipping a barmaid £5K because she was a student nurse in debt. Was George Michael.”
DJ Mick Brown tweeted that when he would run a charity drive at Easter, George would call in every year, at the same time, with a 100,000-pound donation
George Michael secretly funded Highgate’s Fair in the Square celebrations and village Christmas Tree. He anonymously paid for the Highgate Christmas tree and was the largest private sponsor of the fair, which attracts thousands of people each year
According to the Associated Press, the proceeds from the 1996 song “Jesus to a Child” went to Childline. The founder of the organization told the AP that Michael had donated millions of dollars over the years, and was “determined” that no one outside the charity know how much he had given.
George Michael helped a 16-year old homeless girl out of the streets and back on track. He took her home after seeing her beg on the streets, and contacted a charity helping homeless kids to take her in. His act of kindness gave Jenny a fresh new start.
In 1989, George Michael donated a pair of his boots to a charitable cause. He gave his US $5,500 chrome-tipped ’88 tour boots (signed) to A Star is Worn, a celebrity-clothing boutique located on trendy Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles. Proceeds of the sale were donated to a charity that benefited homeless families. Read George Michael’s Donation to A Star is Worn
British game show host Richard Osman tweeted that “A woman on ‘Deal or No Deal’ told us she needed £15K (or about $18K) for IVF treatment. George Michael secretly phoned the next day and gave her the £15K.”
Despite a self-imposed media ban, George decided to speak to MTV to promote the EP.
‘Everyone’s got really pissed off listening to celebrities patting each other on the back saying how generous they are being,’ he said in the interview. ‘And they are right to. The reason I am doing this interview is to support the Phoenix Trust. It’s very important these tracks get heard.’
In 1996, George Michael collaborated again with the Red Hot Organization for their Brazilian theme album “Red Hot + Rio.” He donated the song ‘Desafinado’ to the charity album, his duet with Astrud Gilberto. Read George Michael and the Red Hot + Rio Album
George donated three new songs for the AIDS fund-raising album Red, Hot and Dance. The three tracks Too Funky, Happy and Do You Really Want to Know had originally been recorded for the follow up to his Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1. Read the article Red, Hot and Dance: George Michael Donates 3 Songs to AIDS Charities
John Carlin, co-creator of the Red Hot + Blue and Red Hot + Dance AIDS benefit package, praised George and his life long commitment to AIDS awareness and eradication. Read Inside Story of Red Hot + Dance and how George contributed to the success of this charitable cause.
George donated proceeds from his sold-out performances at the Wembley Arena for his Cover to Cover Tour on March 19, 20, 22 and 23, 1991 to British AIDS hospices and research organizations, estimated to be more than $1 million. Read George Michael Donated Proceeds of Wembley Stadium 1991 Concert
Earnings from “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” which he recorded in a duet with Elton John, went to a number of AIDS-focused charities in the United Kingdom as well as the United States. Read George Michael Donated Proceeds of Elton John Duet to Charities
In 1991, George Michael joined the American fast food chain Taco Bell in their Rock Art Cup charity fundraising. Taco Bell spearheaded a $1 million charity campaign by teaming up with musical superstars M.C. Hammer, Scorpions, George Michael, Diana Ross, and Bell Biv DeVoe. Read George Michael and the Taco Bell Rock Art Cup Charity Fundraising
In 1988, George brought his Faith Tour show to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre in Irvine, California. The show was originally scheduled for only for two days, October 7 and 8. However, he added a third show, on October 9, to benefit the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center. Read How George Michael Supported a Charity for Missing Children
George supported a number of charity auctions, and one of them was the Soundwaves project benefiting Nordoff Robbins. Read George Michael’s Contribution to the Soundwaves Art Charity Auction
George said of the auction:
“This is an amazing project and gives a whole new dimension to the artistry involved in music. As an artwork collection, it is just fantastic and, as a means of raising money for Nordoff-Robbins, it is sheer brilliance. I am delighted to support it on both counts.”
In 2003, George Michael contributed a song to the album “Hope” to raise money for the Iraqi children affected by the war. Read George Michael’s Contribution to ‘Hope’ Album for Iraqi Children Affected by War
On June 23, 1989, George Michael was the recipient of the Silver Clef Award for service to the British Music. During the auction held at the awarding ceremonies, George Michael displayed his amazing philanthropy and charitable spirit, by bidding on a guitar — and giving it back for next year’s auction. Read George Michael Paid £55,000 for a Guitar at Silver Clef Awards Ceremony (1989)
The photo wall was set up in the communal area at each Symphonic Tour show, and features photos of the dogs belonging to all of the touring personnel – including George’s own dogs, Abbey and Meg. The auction benefited the Mayhew Animal Home in London and run until October 22, 2012.
George Michael has donated £5,000 to help a Greenwich-based charity for children who have been sexually abused. He contributed to Mosac in Greenwich High Road, to fund their helpline volunteer training course. Read George Michael’s Donation to Charity Helping Sexually Abused Children
For World AIDS Day 2011, George Michael participated in the fundraising organized by GaydarRadio to support the National AIDS Trust. Read the article George Michael and GaydarRadio’s World AIDS Day 2011 Auction
George Michael’s generosity was exposed by Richard and Judy on their last show in ITV’s This Morning in 2001. According to host Richard Madeley, George was the anonymous donor who gave £50,000 “which allowed us to actually chart a couple of aeroplanes and send two plane loads of very needy and deprived children to meet Santa Claus in Lapland.” Read George Michael Donated Five-Figure Sum to Toy Appeal
George bought a £27,000 diamond sparkler at an auction in aid of Sir Elton John’s Aids Foundation in July 2000, but returned it for nothing so it could be sold again.
Check out the List of Charities George Michael Supported
- George Michael Interview with Capital FM Radio with Dr. Fox (Dec 1998)
- ‘Too Funky:’ Story of A George Michael Charity Record
- List of Charities George Michael Supported
- BBC Hardtalk Interview with George Michael (2003)
- George Michael’s Oprah Winfrey Show Interview (2004)