Musician Paul Heaton was praised after Q magazine’s final editor revealed the singer’s “insanely kind” gesture to staff after the music publication closed.
Ted Kessler said Heaton, known for his work with the Housemartins and the Beautiful South, donated a “large sum” which was shared among more than 40 workers.
“It really was the most incredibly kind, selfless and generous act,” Kessler tweeted. “For some it meant that an invoice could be paid. “
Q staff, which closed in July due to financial strain brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, ordered a final award from Heaton as a thank you.
It was inscribed “Paul Heaton: the classic songwriter of all time.” Thank you for everything. “
Heaton, 58, shared a video message and said the donation “was just meant to make sure people weren’t left behind.”
He praised the magazine and said he was “upset” by its closure. “I wish everyone the best,” he added.
Kessler shared the story on Twitter. He said: “We booked the Roundhouse for two nights for the Q Awards next week. We didn’t have any talent sorted when we had to cancel Covid in April, but Nadine Shah was presenting and the two shows were Liam Gallagher one night, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott the other.
“The only award we knew for sure was Paul Heaton’s, because we had heard that he had never won one. Think about all the brilliant songs he wrote for the Housemartins, Beautiful South, etc. Millions of records sold. No Q (or Brit) award for his writing. So we knew he would be the classical songwriter.
Kessler said that within days of Q shutting down, Heaton got in touch and said as a thank you for all the support the magazine had given him he was going to donate a large sum.
The editor said he “politely declined” but Heaton insisted.
Kessler added, “I accepted the donation and shared it with over 40 staff and freelancers working for Q at the time, all of whose minds – like mine – were blown away.
“We got him that award at the end. Britain’s biggest living pop star. A true legend. “
In March, Heaton and her former Beautiful South group member Jacqui Abbott announced a free concert for NHS workers. The performance was postponed by the pandemic.