George Michael outside his London home

Singer George Michael, who has been discharged from hospital, has admitted that he nearly died from a severe form of pneumonia.

The 48-year-old star was placed in intensive care at Vienna’s AKH General Hospital last month after his health deteriorated just hours before he was set to perform in the city.

He spent weeks in intensive care amid rumours and speculation about his condition before finally being discharged and returning to the UK.

Speaking to reporters outside his London home on Friday, an emotional and out of breath Michael revealed that his illness was far worse than what his representatives had previously admitted.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” he said. “I would say it was touch and go to be honest – we played it down because we really didn’t want to worry the fans.”

Michael added that he is “still very weak, but I feel amazing. They basically spent three weeks keeping me alive”.

The star commented that he was fortunate to have been in Vienna when he was taken ill with the streptococcal pneumonia.

“The hospital they rushed me to was the best place in the world I could have been to deal with pneumonia.”

Michael, who will need to allow his vocal chords to recover from a tracheostomy, said that he was committed to returning to the stage to complete his Symphonica tour.

“What kept me going was my family, all of my fans who I’ve still got to play to and the fact that I’ve got so, so much to live for. If I wasn’t spiritual enough before the last four or five weeks, I certainly am now.”

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