Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 08:51 UK

Michael seeking 'a quieter life'

George Michael on why he wants a more private life

Pop singer George Michael has said his age is a factor in his decision to give up touring, saying that he is seeking "a quieter life" out of the public eye.

"Mainly the reason is because I'm 45 and I think pop music should be about youth culture," he told the BBC. "It shouldn't be an endurance test."

Michael will stage two major concerts at Earls Court, London in August, labelled "The Final Two".

The dates will mark the end of his 25 Live Tour, which began in 2006.

The tour, which Michael launched to celebrate his 25th year in showbusiness, has so far played to more than 1.3 million fans across Europe.


Speaking to the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Los Angeles, Michael said there were "lots of other things" he wanted to do outside of music.

But he denied he was retiring, saying he was merely seeking a life out of the limelight.

"If I can just live further from the spotlight I think that'll be better for all really," he said.

In a veiled reference to his recent personal problems, the singer said he wanted to "stay away from my own idiocy" and "try and behave".

Last year he admitted he was trying to limit his recreational drug use following his 2006 caution for possession of cannabis.

Michael will perform a series of dates in the US and Canada ahead of his two London concerts.

Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in 1963, the former Wham! star has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

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