Sir Elton John revealed at last night's Auckland show he had been diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier in the day, and it's not the first time the singer has battled through health issues while touring.

John was forced to cut the concert at Mt Smart's stadium short, and wrote to fans on Instagram: "I played and sung my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I'm disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had."

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Recent cancellations

While it's been announced this morning that his two remaining Mt Smart Stadium shows are going ahead tomorrow and on Thursday, the star has cancelled shows because of illness in recent years.

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Last October, he was forced to can a show in Indianapolis just two days after the death of his mother-in-law in Toronto.

"It is with the heaviest heart that I am forced to deliver the news that I am extremely unwell and therefore unable to perform," the star announced.

That date was rescheduled for March.

In 2018, John cancelled a concert after suffering an ear infection. That condition is minor compared to some of his other health challenges.

His cancer battle

Last year the singer released tell-all memoir Me, and went into detail about his battle with prostate cancer. At one point, he thought he was "24 hours from death".

In excerpts published by The Daily Mail, John wrote about a complication that arose from his surgery and said he spent 11 days in hospital wondering if he was going to die.

"In the hospital, alone at the dead of night, I'd prayed: please don't let me die, please let me see my kids again, please give me a little longer."

The experience helped him realise that he needed to take it easy.

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"In a strange way, it felt like time I spent recuperating was the answer to my prayers. If you want more time, you need to learn to live like this, you have to slow down.

 Sir Elton John with his sons Elijah and Zachary and his husband David Furnish in 2017. Photo / Getty Images
Sir Elton John with his sons Elijah and Zachary and his husband David Furnish in 2017. Photo / Getty Images

"It was like being shown a different life, a life I realised I loved more than being on the road. Music was the most wonderful thing, but it still didn't sound as good as [my son] Zachary chattering about what had happened at Cubs or football practice.

"Any lingering doubts about retiring from touring just evaporated."

In an TV interview with Graham Norton, he shared that he urinated on himself during a concert in Las Vegas following the procedure.

It was just two weeks after the operation and the audience were blissfully unaware of his health struggles.

"If only they knew," the 72-year-old told Norton.

He revealed he had to learn to walk again after the operation.

Another excerpt published in the Daily Mail revealed the ordeal the singer went through at the time.

"I was told that my condition was so serious, the hospital didn't have the equipment to cope with it.

Elton John performing in Napier on February 6. Photo / Paul Taylor
Elton John performing in Napier on February 6. Photo / Paul Taylor

"I had to be moved to the London Clinic... by 2.30pm I was on the operating table, having more lympathic fluid drained - this time from my diaphragm.

"For two days afterwards, I was in intesive care. When I came around, they told me I'd contacted a major infection in South America, and that they were treating it with massive intravenous doses of antibiotics.

"There were MRI scans and God knows how many other procedures. The doctors told [husband] David [Furnish] I was 24 hours away from death. If the South American tour had gone on for another day that would have been it: brown bread."

The health scare lead to the star deciding to announce he was retiring from touring for good - his New Zealand dates are part of his farewell tour.

Other health concerns

Elton John was forced to cancel his performance at David and Victoria Beckham's wedding. Photo / Getty Images
Elton John was forced to cancel his performance at David and Victoria Beckham's wedding. Photo / Getty Images

John has been hospitalised on other occasions over the years.

In 1999, he had a heart pacemaker fitted, and had to cancel his singing gig at the wedding of Victoria and David Beckham.

According to The Daily Mail, he was also hospitalised for influenza and a bacterial infection in 2009, and nearly died after an abscess was discovered on his appendix in 2013.

He also suffered "gastric flu" near the end of 2016 and postponed a Dubai show. He was still unwell for the rescheduled date in January 2017.

Drug addiction and bulimia

Earlier health problems were down to addiction issues.

In a 2010 TV interview with Piers Morgan, John spoke openly about more than a decade of drug use in the 1970s and the 1980s. He also shared that his addiction led him to become bulimic.

"This is how bleak it was: I'd stay up, I'd smoke joints, I'd drink a bottle of Johnnie Walker [whisky] and then I'd stay up for three days and then I'd go to sleep for a day and a half, get up, and because I was so hungry, because I hadn't eaten anything, I'd binge and have like three bacon sandwiches, a pot of icecream and then I'd throw it up, because I became bulimic and then go and do the whole thing all over again," he told Morgan.

Elton John performing in Central Park in 1980. Photo / Getty Images
Elton John performing in Central Park in 1980. Photo / Getty Images

At the height of his addiction problems, the musician swallowed Valium, dived into his Bel Air mansion's swimming pool in front of his family members and screamed: "I'm going to die!"

In an interview with NBC's Harry Smith he revealed the death of his friend Ryan White in 1990 was a wake-up call. White died after contracting Aids.

The Grammy-award winner became sober six months later and created the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992.

"It nearly destroyed my soul," the singer explained.

"My soul was black, like a charred piece of steak until I said, 'I need help'."