The musician Paul Heaton has been praised after the final editor of Q magazine revealed the singer’s “amazingly 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 between more than 40 workers.
“It really was the most amazingly kind, selfless, generous act,” Kessler tweeted. “For some, it meant a bill could be paid.”
The staff of Q, which closed in July because of the financial strain brought by the coronavirus pandemic, commissioned a final award for Heaton as thanks.
It was inscribed “Paul Heaton: Q’s all-time classic songwriter. Thank you for everything.”
Heaton, 58, shared a video message and said the donation “was just meant to make sure people weren’t left on their arse”.
He praised the magazine and said he was “upset” at its closure. “I wish everybody the best,” he added.
Kessler shared the story on Twitter. He said: “We had the Roundhouse booked for two nights for the Q awards next week. We didn’t have talent sorted when we had to Covid-cancel in April, but Nadine Shah was presenting and the two gigs were Liam Gallagher one night, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott the other.
“The only award we knew for sure was to Paul Heaton, as we’d heard he’d never won one. Think of all the brilliant songs he’s written for the Housemartins, Beautiful South etc. Millions of records sold. No Q award (or Brit) for his songwriting. So we knew he’d be Classic Songwriter.”
Kessler said a few days after Q closed, 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 was insistent.
Kessler added: “I accepted the donation and shared it amongst over 40 staff and freelancers working for Q at the time, all of whose minds – like mine – were blown.
“We got him that award in the end. Britain’s greatest living pop star. A true legend.”
In March, Heaton and his former Beautiful South bandmate Jacqui Abbott announced a free concert for NHS workers. The performance has been postponed by the pandemic.