George Michael no longer feels as “safe” as he used to, since battling with acute pneumonia in December 2011.

“It almost killed me”, the gay singer said, reports contactmusic. “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.”

When asked what his secret to staying in the music industry for so long, Michael added: “’I think it’s heart. It’s the desire to communicate genuinely, rather than a desire to show off and make a bit of money.

”I always had a strong intent to be direct and emotional with my songs, and that’s never left me. When music comes from the heart it’s as much an artistic statement as a painting or a book.

”To have had such a long and successful career, well – it’s every artist’s dream, isn’t it?

”And I don’t know how it happened, I really don’t. Maybe it’s because people can still sense my energy and my desire to make the best music that I possibly can. Who knows?”

The star had another brush with death last year, after he fell of out his car while travelling on the M1 and was airlifted to hospital with a head injury.

Last month, Michael was admitted to hospital after collapsing at home.

His spokesperson refused to be drawn on the medical reason for his brief stay in hospital.

In March, the 50-year-old Wham! star announced he was no longer using cannabis.

Michael received an eight-week prison sentence in 2010 after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of drugs, following an incident where he crashed his car into a photo shop in London.