Whenever you see a celebrity's name on a headline, there's always a 50 percent chance that it's there because they did something terrible. Like shoplifting, punching a paparazzi, or restricting the freedoms of marginalized groups via executive order. Admit it: We all suspect that our favorite star might have some dark secret that would make us throw out all our posters and burn all our VHS copies of What Women Want. Well, here are seven famous people who did try to hide something pretty big: how generous they were.
Of course, being celebrities, they couldn't just give people large amounts of money and leave it at that. No, they had to find amazingly contrived ways to do their charity work. Like ...
George Michael Donated Tons Of Money On The Condition That No One Give Him Credit
When a celebrity suddenly passes away, your social media feeds will fill up with people proclaiming their lifelong fandom and struggling to think of something nice to say about a person whose lasting contribution to the world was providing a voice for a cartoon show 30 years ago. However, when pop music icon George Michael passed away last December, no contrived sympathy was necessary, because it turned out he had a whole secret side-career as one of the most generous people ever.
Also, everyone likes Wham!. Come on. Stop lying to yourself.
Michael's most concentrated efforts were focused on the Childline charity, a counseling service that helps kids deal with all sorts of shitty life events like abuse, bullying, and mental illness. He even donated the royalties from his 1996 hit "Jesus To A Child" to the organization, which we guess was a better song choice than "I Want Your Sex." These frequent donations came with the condition that they keep his contributions anonymous. Though he could have also asked for them to be credited to Andrew Ridgeley, which is the same thing.
The Terrence Higgins Trust for HIV victims and Macmillan Cancer Support were also supported by Michael. He was also the greatest benefactor of Project Angel Food -- which delivers meals to people living with critical conditions -- freely offering them his time, his money, and his mustache.
The other volunteers were shocked to learn the true identity of their co-worker "Michael George."
And that's not counting all the miscellaneous acts of generosity he displayed toward completely random strangers, from barmaids to people he saw on TV. At this point, we're thinking that his anonymity was half humility, half self-preservation -- if the world had known how generous he was in addition to being George Michael, he would have fatally drowned in ass long ago.
Elvis Couldn't Stop Giving Random People Cadillacs
When you look at Elvis in his final years, it's immediately clear that his worst habits had taken a toll on him. His prescription drug problem, eating disorder, and sideburns had all gotten dangerously out of hand. However, there's one seldom-discussed dependency that Elvis suffered with almost as much intensity: His addiction to giving people scores and scores of Cadillacs. It all started when Elvis had his first modest hit in 1955, and immediately bought a Cadillac for his mother. Elvis' mother, by the way, couldn't drive.
"This is nice, son, but your father needs money for an operation and ..."
"Say no more. Here's another Cadillac."