British pop legend George Michael is back in the studio working on a new record just weeks after his terrifying health scare. The former Wham! singer was hospitalised last month (May14) after reportedly collapsing at his London home. A spokesperson confirmed Michael underwent "routine tests" but refused to give any further details about the star's condition.
However, a new report suggests Michael is now fit and well, and working on a new project.
Editors of British newspaper the Ham&High published an interview with the Careless Whisper hitmaker this week (beg16Jun14) which was given before his health drama, and they report Michael's team assured them he is now "fit, healthy and back in the studio recording his new record".
In the interview, Michael talks about his previous bouts of illness, including a near-fatal bout of pneumonia which struck while he was on tour in Europe in 2011. He says of the terrifying experience, "It almost killed me... On a subconscious level it was very frightening and I'll probably never feel quite as safe again. But oh my God, I was just so grateful to come out alive and very happy to get back to my home in London."
British pop veteran George Michael suffered another frightening health scare prior to his dramatic hospitalisation last week (ends25May14), according to a U.K. report. The former Wham! star hit headlines this week (beg26May14) after it emerged paramedics had been called to his north London home last Thursday (22May14).
He was hospitalised and later released, and a representative for the singer confirms he is now "well and resting", according to Britain's The Sun newspaper.
However, editors at the publication report the scare is the second this year (14) for the star, as he was previously found unconscious at home after collapsing. Police officers are said to have discovered the ailing singer at the property.
A source tells the newspaper, "George's latest collapse is the second time this year that emergency services have attended his home. It seems as if there is barely a month that goes by at the moment without him having problems."
British pop star George Michael was rushed to hospital last week (ends23May14) after falling ill at his home, according to U.K. reports. Two ambulances allegedly attended the former Wham star's north London home at around 8am on Thursday (22May14) after a concerned friend called emergency services.
Witnesses claim the ambulances left after four hours with Michael on board, though the cause of his illness remains unknown.
A spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service confirmed to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "We were called just before 8am on May 22. We sent two ambulance crews and staff treated one patient, a man, who was then taken to hospital."
Michael's agent tells Britain's The Sun, "George Michael was in hospital for routine tests but there is nothing further to say."
The 50-year-old Faith singer has been hit with a series of health problems in recent years. In 2011, he was hospitalised in Vienna, Austria with pneumonia and spent weeks in intensive care, and in May last year (13) he sustained head injuries after falling from a moving car on a British highway.
Pop superstar George Michael is to make a return to the charts more than a decade after the release of his last album. The British singer has confirmed his sixth solo album, Symphonica, is to hit shelves in March (14) and will include orchestral covers of classic tracks including Nina Simone's My Baby Just Cares for Me.
The record, Michael's first since 2004's Patience, was produced by music legend Phil Ramone prior to his death last March (13), and was recorded during the former Wham! star's doomed 2011-2012 tour, which was cut short by a serious bout of pneumonia.
The singer has also filmed a documentary about the making of the album, and is giving fans a taster by offering a free song to download from his website.
Michael was forced to dismiss rumours he had given up music for good last year (13) after his website was shut down and replaced with an image of closed stage curtains.
Wham! classic Last Christmas was the most-streamed song on music app Spotify on Christmas Day (25Dec13) in the U.K. The 1984 track beat Michael Buble's cover of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, which came in second and third respectively, according to statistics released by Spotify bosses.
Kevin Mazur/Getty20th-century seasonal classics from various Rat Pack crooners, The Pogues and Mariah Carey may still reign supreme on the radio come December. But there are plenty of more recent festive hits that are worthy of joining them in the all-time Christmas hits canon. Here's a look at six of the best from the past 13 years.Leona Lewis - "One More Sleep"A refreshing departure from Lewis' usual heart-breaking ballads, "One More Sleep" perfectly recaptures the excitement of the Christmas countdown with an uplifting blend of Motown pop beats, sleigh bells and bursts of brass inspired by Phil Spector's classic Wall of Sound.Coldplay – "Christmas Lights"Released in between the Viva La Vida and Mylo Xyloto albums in 2010, "Christmas Lights" saw the 21st century’s biggest guitar band get in on the holiday action with a typically melancholic tale of a relationship that's turned sour at the worst possible time of year.George Michael – "December Song (I Dreamed Of Christmas)"Originally intended for the Spice Girls and then Michael Buble, George Michael's 2008 wintry ballad might not have caught on in the same way as Wham!'s festive classic, but with its Frank Sinatra sample and gorgeous orchestral production, it's unarguably just as timeless.Sugababes – "New Year"The 2000 second single from the original line-up of the ever-changing Sugababes established Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan as the coolest girlband around as they reflected on a past Christmas Day break-up over an understated blend of sparse acoustics and subtle R&B beats.The Killers – "A Great Big Sled"The first and indeed the greatest of The Killers' eight attempts to establish themselves as the four wise men of indie rock, 2006's "A Great Big Sled" combined shimmering synths, galloping guitars and of course some obligatory sleigh bells to produce an instant Phil Spector-esque classic.Hurts – "All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day"Beginning as a slightly morbid ballad, this anti-Christmas anthem then builds up into a strangely euphoric crescendo of tubular bells, emphatic drums and soaring melodies, recapturing the magic of the holidays in a way which many more cheery yuletide songs failed to do.
Mariah Carey's 1994 hit All I Want For Christmas Is You has topped Billboard's first Holiday 100 chart of the year, as it did last year (12). The song, which Carey performed at the 81st annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree-lighting ceremony on Wednesday (04Dec13), hit the number one spot with 29,000 downloads and big airplay figures.
Brenda Lee's 1958 classic Rocking Around the Christmas Tree comes in at two and Bobby Helms' Jingle Bell Rock is at three on the first U.S. festive chart of the year.
Ariana Grande claims the chart's top holiday song released this season with Love Is Everything at number 15, while her cover of Wham!'s Last Christmas is at 32. The original takes the 11th spot on the countdown.
Meanwhile, on the U.S. Christmas albums chart, Duck Dynasty stars the Robertsons' Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas ranks number one, just ahead of Kelly Clarkson's holiday compilation Wrapped in Red.
Mary J. Blige's new album A Mary Christmas is at three, Michael Buble's 2011 release Christmas is at four and Susan Boyle's Home for Christmas rounds out the new top five.
Singer Nicole Scherzinger has signed on as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics after recording a song for the organisation's upcoming Christmas album. The former Pussycat Dolls star has recorded her own rendition of O Holy Night which will appear on A Very Special Christmas, a festive album which will be released to raise funds for the Special Olympics.
She has now agreed to act as an ambassador for the cause, which helps people with intellectual disabilities fulfil their potential in sport.
Scherzinger says, "I recorded the song here in London and I'm really thrilled about how it came out because it's for a good cause and it's my favourite Christmas song."
Tracks by Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, John Lennon and Wham! will also appear on the album, due for release on 9 December (13).
"I would love to have twins - a girl and a boy - but who knows if that would happen. It would be my ideal situation - Wham! Bam! Be done with it." Newlywed model-turned-reality TV star Joanna Krupa on her plans for motherhood.
Pop sensation Ariana Grande is giving fans a few early Christmas treats this year (13) - she'll be releasing a new festive tune every Monday between 19 November (13) and 25 December (13). The actress and singer will offer up her cover of WHAM!'s Last Christmas on week one and there will be other tracks for fans to download throughout the run-up to the holidays.
She took to Twitter.com on Wednesday (06Nov13) to announce her Christmas campaign, explaining, "I'm releasing new music for Christmas! New song every week as a countdown to the holidays starting Nov19. Beyond excited to share them w/ U (with you)!"
The Baby I singer will be just as busy as Santa Claus this holiday season - she will perform at New York's Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, while she will also hit the stage on the inaugural Jingle Ball concert tour. Grande is also nominated for Best New Artist at the 2013 American Music Awards, and will appear at the ceremony on 24 November (13).