George Michael is proud of his tracheotomy scar - because it shows he's lucky to be alive.

The 'White Light' singer was hospitalized in Vienna, Austria, last November after being diagnosed with pneumonia and during his four weeks under doctors' care he underwent a tracheotomy, an incision on the neck to aid breathing.

Although George - who returned to his home in Britain just before Christmas - was thinking about getting the scar removed, but he is now pleased he's got it as it reminds him of how close to death he really was.

He told Gaydar radio: ''I don't think it changes you as a person. I have a tracheotomy scar ... and it really bothered me for a while. I was thinking well maybe I should get something done about it. I know you can have scar treatment.

''But then I thought when I was looking in the mirror a couple of weeks ago that it does actually remind me every time I look at it that I'm lucky to be alive so I've decided to keep it.''

Although George, 49, knows he has to look after himself from now on, he insists he can never imagine a time when he doesn't tour or make music.

He added: ''If I'm not creating anything I get very restless very quickly so I'm doing the album, then I'm touring Europe and Australia. It's going to be a packed out year really. I've made a promise that I will take it easy next year.''