Following pop icon George Michael’s death during Christmas season, Closer Weekly talks to extended family members and fans that bring some of the singer’s secret acts of kindness to light.

The singer’s big heart — while largely hidden from the public — is no surprise to his family. Back in the 90s, George found out a dis­tant cousin had advanced breast cancer. “He flew her and her husband first class from Lon­don to California to get the best treatment,” George’s relative Katerina Balint exclusive­ly shares with Closer.

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George singing in 1985.

“He paid for all of it. She lost her battle some time later, but her kids will never forget how he tried to help her. The story never made the papers. I’m guessing he didn’t want it publicized,” Balint says.

MORE: George Michael’s Boyfriend Reveals a Sad Detail About the Singer’s Death

“George worked anon­ymously at a homeless shelter I was volunteer­ing at,” fan Emilyne Mondo also shared in the days following George’s death. “I’ve never told any­one. He asked we didn’t. That’s who he was.”

An­other story reveals that George asked a waitress to secretly give a crying stranger he saw in a café a check for more than $30,000 — but only after he’d left the eatery.

For more about the bighearted singer and how he always helped friends and strangers in need, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly on newsstand now!

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