But the star does not plan to stop making music - he just wants to give it away...

George Michael will ‘retire’ from the music industry after his current album – but he has no plans to retire from music.

Speaking on Jo Whiley’s Radio 1 show about his new album ‘Patience’, he announced that it would be his last conventional album, with all subsequent music made available to fans for free or in exchange for charity donations.

He revealed: “I think (‘Patience’) is going to be my last commercially promoted release. I’ve been very well remunerated as they say for my talents over the years so I really don’t need the public’s money. I’d really like to have something on the Internet with charitable donation optional, where anyone can download my music for free. I’ll have my favourite charities up there and people will hopefully contribute to that.”

He explained the move would also help him reduce his profile, and so media intrusion. “I’m not pretending I won’t be famous any more, but believe me in the modern world if you take yourself out of the financial aspect of things, ie you’re not making anybody any money or you’re not losing anybody any money, believe me I’ll be of very little interest to the press in a certain number of years.”