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September, 5

'Great to be alive' Michael is back

 
 
 
 
'Great to be alive' Michael is back

Chart star George Michael declared it was "great to be alive" as he made a triumphant return to the stage in Vienna after fighting for his life ten months earlier.

The 49-year-old, who performed at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, resumed his previously postponed Symphonica tour in Austria, where he spent weeks in hospital battling pneumonia last November.

Thousands of fans packed the Stadthalle Wien as the singer, whose real name is Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, took to the stage in a purple suit and his trademark sunglasses.

The show - for which Michael has donated 1,000 tickets to the medical staff, as a thank you gift for saving his life - is the first of a number of rescheduled dates around Europe, including Paris and UK cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and London.

Michael paid a heartfelt tribute to the Austrian medical staff who brought him back from the brink of death.

"I'd like to take the opportunity to say that there are a number of people without whom none of us would be here tonight. This is one of the greatest honours of my life, to sing to the men and women who saved my life," he said, before singing his rendition of Nina Simone's Feeling Good - a request from one of the doctors.

Backed by the Czech National Symphony orchestra, he sang flawless and powerful covers of Rihanna's Russian Roulette, Rufus Wainwright's Going To A Town, Simone's My Baby Just Cares For Me and Sting's Roxanne, as well as his own songs including Father Figure, Waiting For That Day, Cowboys And Angels and Patience.

Michael, who changed to a black suit during an interval, returned for two encores, which saw him performing a medley of his hits - Amazing, I'm Your Man and Freedom.

"What a fantastic reception. I've had a good time. Here's something of a reward just for you," he said before his first encore.

Before his final song, his new single White Light, he revealed: "One last treat for you all before we go. I think given the manner of men and women who did save my life, we could not go without singing this song. Let's hear it for the people who saved my life!"

 

Source: music.uk.msn.com
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