George Michael thanks hospital for saving life

George Michael, short of breath and appearing weak, said Friday he has recovered from a life-threatening bout with pneumonia that kept him in a Vienna hospital for a month.

Fighting back tears, the singer said he had a tracheotomy and had "woken up" in the hospital 10 days ago. He had downplayed the gravity of his illness to avoid alarming his fans, he said.

It was "touch-and-go for a while," he said, adding that "it was by far the worst month of my life, but I'm incredibly, incredibly fortunate to be here." Michael, who seemed to have lost weight, did not provide further details of his treatment.

"I had streptococcal-something pneumonia," he said, trying to make light of the situation, which forced him to cancel an extensive tour. "I spent ten days since I woke up thanking people for keeping me alive in the ICU."

The 48-year-old singer behind hits such as "Faith" and "Father Figure" said the experience would make him more spiritual and appreciative of his life. "I'm very weak but I feel amazing," the pop star said, wearing a gray overcoat and scarf. He spoke in front of a decorated Christmas tree outside his North London home.

The former front man for the pop group "Wham!" was rushed to AKH Hospital in Vienna late last month after canceling a performance in the Austrian capital.

He was released from the hospital Thursday. Michael cut short his appearance after about 10 minutes.

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