London: George Michael has said that he “dodged a bullet,” and is lucky to be alive after falling sick with pneumonia in Vienna in November.
The 49-year-old singer had to learn how to walk all over again after his illness left him “like a feeble old man.”
“I had to relearn to walk due to muscle atrophy. I just woke up kind of like this feeble old man,” the Mirror quoted him as telling BBC Radio 2.
“I guess all I can say about it is it was a horrible experience.
“It was downplayed because I didn’t want to worry [anyone], or to have the press clamouring around the hospital. It would have been like a death watch,” he said.
Recalling how close he was to not recovering, he explained: “It was three weeks touch and go, on several occasions it was very close.
“When something like that happens, it takes a while to feel that life is safe again. I’ve lived with a lot of anxiety since.”
Michael added that his anxiety stopped him watching a news report on Whitney Houston’s death.
“I was watching footage of Whitney Houston being wheeled into an ambulance.
“I said ‘change the channel’. It would have been freaky if Whitney and I had died within six weeks of each other.
“We both became big at the same time, we worked together. I dodged a bullet. I appreciate how lucky I am to be alive,” he added.
The former Wham! star also confirmed reports that he will perform at the Olympics.
Asked if he will have a microphone in his hand at some point, he said: “It’s yet to be decided for sure, but that’s the plan yes, that I’ll be playing a couple of songs to kick off the concert at the end.”
Michael was speaking as he promoted his new single ‘White Light’ which is inspired by his recent brush with death.
The singer added, in a personally written press release: “I am truly blessed, and ‘White Light’ is my thank you to everybody who has been a part of my success.
“And I mean everybody, including the press!! Long may it continue.”
And in the ultra stylish video, which is shot in both black and white and colour, it is iconic model Kate Moss who saves Michael’s life on screen.