George Michael has axed the Australian leg of his tour due to “major anxiety”.

In a statement on his website, the pop star said the cancellation of nine concerts “breaks my heart”.

He confirmed he would still fulfil his UK dates in October, but would then undergo treatment

Michael suffered from life-threatening pneumonia and spent a month in a Vienna hospital last winter.

Earlier this summer, it had seemed the 49-year-old was back to full health, with Michael performing at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games.

However, on Sunday the pop star released a statement, saying:

“I have today announced the cancellation of the shows in Australia which breaks my heart.

By way of explanation all I can say at this time is that since last year’s illness I have tried in vain to work my way through the trauma that the doctors who saved my life warned me I would experience.

They recommended complete rest and the type of post traumatic counselling which is available in cases like mine but I’m afraid I believed (wrongly) that making music and getting out there to perform for the audiences that bring me such joy would be therapy enough in itself.

Unfortunately I seriously underestimated how difficult this year would be and although I was right to believe that the shows would bring me great happiness and that my voice would recover completely (I truly think that some of my recent performances have been my best ever) I was wrong to think I could work my way through the major anxiety that has plagued me since I left Austria last December.”

George Michael was to be the opening act for the new Perth Arena on November 10.

Sir Elton John, who was scheduled to perform in Perth on November 12, will now replace Michael and play two dates at the Arena.