The George Michael tour of Australia has been cancelled, reports The Chicago Tribune, because of the "major anxiety" he is suffering following a turbulent year for his health.

He had been due to open in Australia in Perth on November 10 before performing in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hunter Valley on December 1, but the WHAM singer, who fell ill in Vienna last November, was treated under intensive care for a month for a life-threatening illness, and is still feeling the effects now. "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," Michael said. "They recommended complete rest ... 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." Ticket holders for his much-anticipated string of gigs down under will receive a full refund.

Michael has had a rough time with illness of late, and was forced to disappoint European fans when his tour was cut short. He did, however, return to honour his promise of a show, and being the performer that he is, his Australian fans will surely be in line for a replacement tour if and when he's feeling up to it. "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 completed these shows here in the UK, I will receive the treatment which is so long overdue."