Greek singer Nana Mouskouri has been given a huge boost as she prepares for a series of comeback shows to mark her upcoming 80th birthday - old friend Leonard Cohen, who is also turning 80 next month (Oct14) has given her a rousing endorsement.

The veteran is eyeing a return to the stage after retiring in 2008, with tour dates in England and Scotland planned for later this month (Sep14).

Mouskouri, who turns 80 on 13 October (14), admits she felt compelled to make a return to the limelight, telling Wenn, "A world

without music wouldn't be the same, for me it's not possible."

She will perform at London's Royal Albert Hall, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Scotland and Manchester's Bridgewater Hall between 25 and 30 September (14), and Cohen, who is also planning a series of dates to promote his upcoming album Popular Problems, can't wait to see his old friend live.

The Hallelujah singer says, "You raised your voice in song. I heard you then and I hear you now. I am still listening. We all are. May you continue to be as you have always been - strong, clear, simple and true."