George Michael spoke on Tuesday of how close pneumonia came to killing him. The singer said he was at death’s door for five weeks— a period he now has no memory of.
The 49-year-old collapsed in Vienna last November while on a three-week European tour.
“One afternoon I was having lunch and suddenly felt really odd and said to everyone that I need to go and lie down for half an hour on my own,” he told BBC Radio Two DJ Chris Evans.
“And that’s the last thing I remember for five weeks. It was three weeks of them trying to save my life and two weeks awake.’
Asked how close he came to death, Michael said: “On several occasions very close. Very close indeed.”
The former Wham! singer cancelled one British concert in October through illness but continued to tour believing he could shake it off.
“I felt fine, I cancelled that show but didn’t get myself checked out,” he added. “I took it for granted that I’d just fought off flu.
“It didn’t really occur to me that it had anything to do with my lungs.”
He was treated in a world-leading Austrian hospital, an experience that inspired his new single White Light. The accompanying video, which features supermodel Kate Moss, opens with a close-up of a hospital ventilator and a man lying on a stretcher.
Michael said his recovery had been a very slow process.