George Michael Death: Andy Kershaw Posts Disrespectful Comments, George Michael’s Philanthropy Is Revealed [Opinion]

As the world is mourning the untimely death on Christmas of singer George Michael, British broadcaster Andy Kershaw has taken to social media denouncing the singer.

Rochdale News has reported that Andy Kershaw revealed his personal feelings on the death of George Michael when he left his thoughts on his Facebook page. His comments have now been deleted, but not before George Michael’s fans and friends read Kershaw’s disrespectful message.

When describing recent tributes to celebrity deaths, Andy Kershaw noted what he called the “now routine hysterical over-reaction,” along with the “predictable onion-from-pocket outpourings” from fans. Kershaw then went on to add that while George Michael was obviously “very successful,” he was also a “frivolous, glib and fleeting pop star.”

Friends and fans of George Michael were furious and have denounced the pitiable British DJ, revealing that he is hardly the sort of person that should be judging others, rightly stating that while Andy Kershaw simply plays the music of others, George Michael actually created his own music.

Tributes are being left outside of George Michael's home following his death.
Tributes are lovingly being left outside of George Michael’s home following his death. [Image by Tim Ireland/AP Images]

Kershaw is noted for being a volatile man, especially when under the influence of alcohol. Kershaw was once given a three-month suspended jail sentence when his drunken and frequent harassment of ex-girlfriend Juliette Banner came to light and after Banner had filed a restraining order on him, which was something he clearly had a difficult time abiding by and following.

After George Michael’s shocking death, this is not the time for a person like Andy Kershaw to play the role of moral arbiter, and furious responses to Kershaw’s predictably insensitive comments have been flooding in.

Peter Bradley wrote, “Out of order Andy. The death of anyone, famous, infamous or normal is never worthy of a nasty post.”

Meanwhile, in stark contrast to the life and work of Andy Kershaw, it is now being revealed by the Guardian that George Michael was something of a philanthropist, helping the lives of many with very little previous media coverage as George was such a private man.

One extremely kind gesture that Sali Hughes notes was when George Michael overhead that a barmaid, who was also a student nurse, was deeply in debt to the tune of £5,000. George Michael left that barmaid a very gracious tip of £5,000 as he left the establishment she was working in.

On another occasion, George Michael was watching Deal or No Deal and saw that there was a woman on the show that was desperate for an IVF procedure which would cost her £15k. Michael secretively gave the contestant the money that she needed in order to fund her procedure, without even a second thought.

George also worked tirelessly and quietly in a homeless shelter, devoting himself to work that nobody was made aware of until now.

George Michael is known by all to have been extremely devastated when his mother died of cancer in 1997. The two were exceedingly close, and it is thought that George never quite got over her death. He spoke of his mother as having “great compassion” and described how they both agreed that compassion was something in limited supply in today’s world.

“She felt much as I do, that we were living in a world that was gradually being drained of that.”

As a thank you to all of the help and support that the NHS had provided to him and his mother, George Michael generously put aside free tickets for NHS staff at his shows and even played a very special show that was for all of the nurses who had helped his mother during her illness.

Billy Bragg has also spoken of George Michael’s activist work with miners and the LGBTQ community.

“His support for the LGBTQ community, the NHS and the miners marked George Michael out as an activist as well as a great artist.”

Fans react to George Michael's death and leave tributes outside of his home on December 26, 2016.
Fans react to George Michael’s death and leave tributes outside of his home on December 26, 2016. [Image by Tim Ireland/AP Images]

Along with all of George Michael’s other philanthropic work, he also lent massive financial support to the Terrence Higgins Trust over the course of many years, as Jane Barron noted.

“We are so saddened by the loss of George Michael. George also often thought of us to kindly donate experiences and gifts that were used to raise vital funds to help us support people living with HIV. Along with other charities, we were grateful to benefit from the royalties of George’s 1991 duet with Elton John, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me. His donations contributed to a vision of a world where people living with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination.”

While 2016 has been an extremely difficult and emotional year with the passing of so many great artists, it is only natural to be upset that this year has taken another wonderfully talented and great man from us at the last minute, and on Christmas especially. But fans, friends, and family of George Michael will surely agree that the best way we can continue his legacy, and what George himself would most want, is if we take his words about compassion to heart and all start 2017 with love and caring and keep his good work alive.

[Featured Image by Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Images]