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George Michael "fighting fit," to re-start tour

LONDON (Reuters) - British singer George Michael has rescheduled dates of a tour he was forced to cancel when he fell ill with severe pneumonia last year and spent several weeks in a Vienna hospital.

"George Michael is back in good health and fighting fit after a battle with pneumonia," said a statement released on his behalf on Tuesday.

The 48-year-old former Wham! frontman will re-start his "Symphonica" tour on September 4 with a new concert in Vienna, where he will donate 1,000 tickets as a thank you to the medical staff who treated him.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you first to the doctors and nurses who saved my life and took such great care of me and to all my fans, family and friends for their love and support," he said.

"I'm looking forward to seeing everyone."

Michael, who went on to pursue a successful solo career recording hits including "Careless Whisper", "Faith" and "I Want Your Sex", will also perform at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris on September 9.

He will perform the postponed concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on September 29, and organizers said original tickets to cancelled dates will still be valid.

Michael has sold an estimated 100 million records over his career and has a personal fortune valued at around 90 million pounds ($120 million).

But the Grammy Award-winning artist has a history of run-ins with the law, notably in 2010 when he spent four weeks in a British prison for driving under the influence of cannabis.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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