Tales of the singer’s generosity have emerged following his death at the age of 53.

George Michael gave millions of pounds to charity anonymously, it has been revealed.

The singer died yesterday (December 25) at the age of 53. According to his publicist, he “passed away peacefully at home.”

Childline founder Esther Rantzen told the Press Association that Michael had secretly given millions to the children’s charity over the years without seeking any recognition.

“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,” she said.

“Over the years he gave us millions and we were planning next year, as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations, to create, we hoped, a big concert in tribute to him – to his artistry, to his wonderful musicality but also to thank him for the hundreds of thousands of children he helped through supporting Childline.”

Television presenter Richard Osman also revealed that during his time working behind the scenes on Deal or No Deal, Michael had given a losing contestant the £15,000 she needed for IVF treatment anonymously.

Emilyne Mondo said that Michael had volunteered at a homeless shelter she was working at, but had asked that nobody tell anyone. “That’s who he was,” she said.

Journalist Sali Hughes remembered that when Michael appeared on a celebrity edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionare?, he said: “If I lose it, I’ll just pay it.”

Michael was well know for his generosity outside of his secret acts of benevolence. In 2006, the singer held a free concert for nurses as a thank you for those that had looked after his mother, who died of cancer in 1997.

He was also part of Band Aid and Live Aid, which raised millions of pounds in aid of the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s. [via The Mirror]

Read next: Elton John, Duran Duran pay tribute to George Michael, dead at 53

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