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From free concerts to £5k tips: George Michael’s generosity towards nurses

Nurses have paid tribute to George Michael for championing the profession – and recalled how he once put on a concert especially for them.
George_Michael_Getty.jpg

Nurses have paid tribute to George Michael for championing the profession and recalled how he once put on a concert especially for them.

The singer, whose death was announced on Christmas Day, threw an intimate concert at the Roundhouse in London for nurses in 2006.

The star gave Nursing Standard 50 pairs of tickets to give to its readers for the concert, which was a special thank you for care given by NHS nurses to his mother, who died in 1997. The show marked the end of a sell-out tour, his first for 15 years.

He told the Roundhouse audience: Society calls what you do a vocation, which is why you dont get paid properly. Thank you for everything you do

Nurses have paid tribute to George Michael for championing the profession – and recalled how he once put on a concert especially for them.


George Michael, who died on Christmas Day, put on a thank you
concert for NHS nurses in 2006. Picture: Getty

The singer, whose death was announced on Christmas Day, threw an intimate concert at the Roundhouse in London for nurses in 2006.

The star gave Nursing Standard 50 pairs of tickets to give to its readers for the concert, which was a special thank you for care given by NHS nurses to his mother, who died in 1997. The show marked the end of a sell-out tour, his first for 15 years.

He told the Roundhouse audience: ‘Society calls what you do a vocation, which is why you don’t get paid properly. Thank you for everything you do – some people appreciate it.’

Free tickets for staff

The singer frequently gave NHS staff free tickets to his concerts, including when he became the first act to perform at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium in 2007. He also donated royalties to charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and the Terence Higgins Trust. 

Nursing Standard readers took to social media to share their memories of the singer’s generosity.

Helen Judkins, who was one of the lucky nurses to attend the Roundhouse show, wrote on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page: ‘I was there – it was an amazing night.’

Sal Nav added: ‘George Michael donated hundreds of tickets for NHS staff in Manchester for his concert at Manchester City’s stadium that year. I was lucky enough to go and he was fantastic. So generous of him.’

‘Special link’

Emma Fullagar said: ‘I got 17 free tickets for the opening night of the new Wembley stadium. Shared them with my colleagues.’ 

Mr Michael said at the time of the Roundhouse show: ‘Almost ten years ago, during the last week of my mother’s life, I told my friends and family that if I ever played my own concerts again, I would do a free one for NHS nurses.’

Irene Heywood Jones told Nursing Standard just after the Roundhouse concert: ‘There was a real buzz and I felt a special link with George.

‘He was born in the same year that I started nurse training. I was probably the oldest nurse there but I was bopping and clapping with the rest of them. I felt honoured to be surrounded by so many nurses.’

Heroes 

Retired nurse Sally Lyons, a community nurse at a North London Hospice at the time of the Roundhouse gig, recalled how she found herself in a ‘huge queue of fellow nurses’ outside the venue, following a busy shift.

 ‘A nervous George Michael took to the stage with a bad cold and told us he was anxious because he’d never performed in front of so many heroes before,’ she wrote on the Roundhouse website.

'Both me and my colleagues still talk about it and will never forget it. George had ups and downs but as we were heroes to him, he will always be a hero to all of the nurses at the Roundhouse that night.’ 

Tales of the singer’s benevolence emerged following the news of his death at 53, including that he had once given a bar worker £5,000 after finding out she was a nursing student heavily in debt.


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