George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
by Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
George Michael has announced he's canceling a string of Australian shows so that he can seek treatment for anxiety.
Michael was hospitalized for pneumonia in Austria in November and spent about three weeks in the hospital. He later said that his health had been "touch and go."
In a note on his website, the singer, 49, says it "breaks my heart" to cancel.
"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."
He goes on to say that the "major anxiety" has plagued him since last December, and plans to "receive the treatment which is so long overdue."
He had been due to open in Australia in Perth on Nov. 10 before performing in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hunter Valley on Dec. 1. He still has concerts scheduled this month in the U.K. The former Wham! frontman said that he would complete his Symphonica Tour dates in Britain in October before seeking treatment, reports Reuters.