It’s all well and good to turn your nose up at the repeated calls of “fuck 2016,” but it is indisputable fact that this calendar year, easily more than any other in recent memory, has been fraught with the premature deaths of far too many important and beloved people.

And in losing David Bowie, Prince, and now George Michael, within 12 months we’ve endured the deaths of not only three of pop music’s most enduringly popular acts, but the three people who did more through their art to challenge and redefine the traditional notions of male sexuality than arguably any others. That’s significant, and the concept of a world suddenly without not just one, but all three, is heartbreaking.

Michael’s untimely passing on Christmas morning at the age of just 53 has sparked an outpouring of emotion from fans, friends, and admirers alike. Not only has the singer’s death prompted tribute for his musical talent and output, but previously untold stories of his remarkable and extremely quiet generosity as well.

British TV hose Richard Osman posted to Twitter, recounting a yarn in which a young woman had appeared on ‘Deal or No Deal,’ stating that she needed £15,000 for IVF treatment. Michael reportedly saw the episode, quietly phoned the studio, and anonymously gave the woman the money himself.

Following that, more and more stories of Michael’s altruism emerged, efforts which he kept largely undocumented throughout his life.

Michael, it was pointed out, was also the only contestant to appear on the celebrity charity version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire‘ to state out loud that if he failed to win the charity extra money when gambling on a question, he’d simply match the lost sum himself.

George Michael’s charitable and giving nature was always a well-known factor of his personality. But the sheer depth of it, and the fact that he did much more than the public actually knew about, is truly something to marvel at.

In a year where we’ve lost some really, really good people, George Michael’s passing stings particularly hard.

But the staggering depth of his generosity is truly something to be marvelled at.

Rest well, George.

Source: Twitter.

Photo: MJ Kim/Getty.