The former Wham! frontman said that he would complete his Symphonica Tour dates in Britain in October before seeking treatment.
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.
In the revealing interview in Out in the City, George chats about his recovery from pneumonia, returning to touring despite doctors warning him to take it easy, and some of his career highlights.
Talking about his work ethic, he said: “I was told to take it easy this year. I was advised to lay off work and I promised everyone that I would but I just don’t know what to do if I’m not working… I don’t know any other way to be, really. If I’m not creating something then I get very restless very quickly.”
On the support he’s received from his new boyfriend, Fadi, who he began dating just before his illness last year: ” I can only imagine what it feels like to fall in love with someone and then have them nearly die on you. I think it was a very horrible time for him and he’s been an absolute rock for me this year. It’s fantastic.”
With his own drug problems well documented, he reflected on the deaths of fellow 80s icons Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston: “You can’t help feeling that you dodged a bullet that they didn’t manage to dodge, you know? I was never a heroin addict, but I did dodge a bullet, no question. And in a way, that kinda reinforces the feeling of privilege I have. I do think my real privilege is that I still believe in what I do and I think I am still capable of making people happy with my music and, after thirty years, that is just amazing.”
He also talks about one of his most iconic videos, for the single ‘Outside’, reflecting on how he would have responded to it as a young gay man: “When I started cruising, which was when I was very young, I would have been so unbelievably thrilled if someone that I liked musically had made that [‘Outside’] video, because it would have lightened the burden of shame by 90%.”
To read the whole interview, pick up Out In The City from branches of WH Smith and selected independent newsagents nationwide, priced £2.95. Alternatively, download the app (iTunes, Android and Kindle Fire) for £1.99 per issue.