TORONTO — Pop star George Michael has “completely stopped” smoking marijuana.
The singer — who often said his pot habit kept him sane and happy — insisted he hasn’t gone near weed in over a year and a half.
“What can I say? I decided to change my life,” Michael told the UK’s Daily Mail.
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The former Wham! singer’s fondness for marijuana resulted in legal problems over the years.
In 2010 he served four weeks behind bars and lost his driver’s license for five years after crashing his car while under the influence of cannabis.
That followed drug-related arrests in 2006 (no charges were filed), 2007 (he was banned from driving for two years) and 2008 (cops let him go with a warning).
Michael has also had some high-profile near-death experiences including a serious bout of pneumonia that left him in hospital for five weeks and an incident last year in which he fell out of a moving vehicle on a British highway and suffered head injuries.
While he won’t discuss the accident, Michael said the pneumonia “almost killed me.”
He added: “It was very frightening and I’ll probably never feel quite as safe in life again. I also remember experiencing incredible guilt for my family and friends, because they literally spent weeks not knowing whether I was going to make it.”
Michael, 50, told the Daily Mail he recorded a version of Stevie Wonder’s “You And I” as a wedding gift for Prince William and Kate Middleton.
“I sent them a CD wrapped up in the cheesiest Royal wedding paper that I could find, covered in stamps of the Queen’s head,” he recalled. “And in their card I wrote, ‘Have the best day of your lives so far.’ And I really meant it.”
Michael, who was a friend of William’s mother Princess Diana, said she would have been “really, really pleased that William has met and fallen in love with someone who has the strength of character to be able to deal with the sorts of things that she couldn’t.
Michael’s new album Symphonica is a collection of cover songs recorded with a full orchestra.