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'I'm back' - George Michael unveils new single (+video)

George Michael has unveiled a new single called White Light.  Photo / Georgemichael.com
George Michael has unveiled a new single called White Light. Photo / Georgemichael.com

George Michael has unveiled his comeback single, which the singer says was inspired by his near-fatal bout of pneumonia last year.

The track, White Light, hit the airwaves at the tail end of last week, and marks 30 years since the singer first charted in the UK with Wham!'s first single, Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do).

Michael, 49, recently said of the new tune: "Although I know the music industry tradition on such occasions is to list the hundreds of millions of albums sold, the number of records broken and awards received over all those years, I would simply like to say thank you.

"Most of my fans realise that I dreamed of a career as a singer-songwriter from an early age, but never in my wildest imaginings could I have known that I would still be here thirty years later, healthy, happy, and feeling that I still have so much more music to give," he wrote on his official website.

He continued: "It is miraculous in so many ways. Fate has been so kind to me, as have the millions of people that have bought records and come to see me play year after year since 1982.

"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."

Michael also said the new single was inspired by his hospital stint last year.

The Careless Whisper singer has bounced back after he was rushed to a Vienna hospital with pneumonia in November last year, forcing him to abandon his solo tour.

"I wrote about what happened to me in Vienna. You may recall my reference to those strange individuals who took the time to pray for my death as I lay in my hospital bed back in November. Don't think I don't realise how many of you out there prayed for my recovery," he said back in April.

He continued: "I thank you all from the deepest part of my soul. And I will repay your unending kindness the only way I know how, with White Light. It's for all of you, for everyone who prayed for me. And I promise you it's a blinder."

Michael will resume his Symphonica tour on September 4, and is currently working on a new album.

The new track debuts hot on the heels of speculation that Michael is set to get back together with Andrew Ridgeley for "a one-off pop extravaganza" to mark the 30th anniversary of their first hit single.

A source told British tabloid the Daily Mirror: "George and Andrew have often said their Club Tropicana days are well behind them.

"But seeing as their anniversary coincides with George releasing new material, it's one of those 'now or never' moments.

"They probably won't do a long tour or release new material like Take That but they do want to commemorate the event with a big gig ... And an even bigger party afterwards!

"Things are still in the early stages but everybody is getting really excited about it."

But Michael's longtime manager quickly dismissed the rumour, saying there was "no truth" to the story.

'I'm back, I'm back...'

The singer also recently released stills from his new song's music video. Feast your peepers on the suited crooner bonding with a zebra here.

Four-legged companion cameo aside, rumour has it that Michael has offered Kate Moss a role in the promo, which is set for release sometime this month.

The supermodel was apparently gutted when she missed out on a cameo in Michael's video for Freedom in 1990, which featured models Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford.

"I'm back, I'm back" Michael sings on the new track.

"So I just kept breathing my friends," he adds. "This ain't the day that it ends 'cause there's no white light and I'm not through, I'm alive ... I've got so much more that I want to do."

Great to have you back, George. But if I'm honest, I can't say the same about the vocoder...

Check out a lyric video for the singer's new single here.

White Light is due for release on 12 August.

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