George Michael Cancels Australian Tour Due to 'Major Anxiety'

9:00 PM PST 10/01/2012 by Associated Press
Dave Hogan/Getty Images

The singer, who was hospitalized last year for pneumonia, says he is seeking treatment for his anxiety.

George Michael is canceling Australian shows so he can get treatment for "major anxiety" he's suffered since a serious health scare last year.

The singer said on his website he had hoped making music and performing would be enough to work through it but that he underestimated how hard his recovery would be.

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The 49-year-old former Wham! frontman was to perform in Sydney and other Australian cities in November and early December.

He still has concerts scheduled this month in the United Kingdom. They are makeup dates for shows he canceled after being hospitalized for pneumonia in Vienna in November.

Michael spent about three weeks in the hospital and said later that his health had been "touch and go."

He performed at the London Olympics closing ceremony in August.

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His complete statement follows:

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 counseling 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.

All that’s left for me to do is apologize to my wonderful Australian fan base and to promise faithfully that as soon as I complete these shows here in the U.K. I will receive the treatment which is so long overdue.

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