Belfast Telegraph

Michael cancels Australian shows

George Michael has cancelled his shows in Australia, saying he was wrong to think he could work through the "major anxiety" that has plagued him since his life-threatening battle with pneumonia.

The singer, who nearly died late last year, was due to take his Symphonica tour down under in November and December but in a statement on his website he said he had decided he could no longer go through with them.

The statement said: "I have today announced the cancellation of the shows in Australia which breaks my heart.

"By way of explanation all I can say at this time is that since last year's illness I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience.

"They recommended complete rest and the type of post traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine but I'm afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself.

"Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be and although I was right to believe that the shows would bring me great happiness and that my voice would recover completely (I truly think that some of my recent performances have been my best ever) I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December."

He added that he apologised to his "wonderful Australian fan base" and promised to receive the treatment he feels he needs after he has carried out his shows in the UK in the next few weeks.

George, 49, began his 64-date tour last year but was forced to pull out of it when he became dangerously ill after performing in Austria, spending around a month being treated in hospital there.

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