Mika has revealed his mother is living with a ''very aggressive brain tumour'' but she has urged him not to give up his pop career to care for her.

The 'Grace Kelly' singer released 'My Name Is Michael Holbrook', his first album for four years, in October, but the songwriting and recording process was carried out by Mika amidst the backdrop of his mother Joannie being diagnosed and treated for the tumour.

Mika - whose real name is Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. - considered walking away from the music business to care for her but Joannie urged him not to and to carry on touring, and her passion for life, despite her illness, inspired the entire record.

During an appearance on Italian TV show 'Domenica In', he said: ''While I was writing this album my life got really complicated. One day my father called me and told me I had to go to the airport to take a flight because there was a problem with my mother.

''This album is for my mother. During the last two years, every two months I thought the problem was over, but it wasn't. Now she is suffering a lot for a very serious condition, a very aggressive brain tumour. I have always loved deeply my mother, she has always been an inspiration to me. To see her in this situation, so fragile, it makes me feel terrible.

''She doesn't want me to go visit her, she says I have to keep working, go on tour and so on. She says she follows me from where she is.''

Mika, 36, was at home to support his mother as she recovered from surgery and he had the idea to record her singing in a bid to turn a ''sad situation in something positive''.

He added: ''She had a difficult brain surgery. Three weeks after the surgery I put a microphone in front of her and told her she had to sing. My siblings didn't understand, but my intention was to transform a very sad situation in something positive, in a moment we could share.''

Mika - who has four siblings - previously took time out of his pop career to care for his sister Paloma who, fell 50ft from the window of her fourth-floor flat in Kensington, London, and was left fighting for her life.