Controversial singer George Michael has announced that he will tour North America for the first time in 17 years.

Michael will be bringing his 25 LIVE tour to North American arenas in the summer in support of his recent retrospective CD titled Twenty Five. He will play 20 concerts in the US and Canada starting in San Diego on June 17.

The 44 year old has already performed 80 sold-out shows of the tour across 12 European countries for 1.3 million fans in the past year.

He told the media that this will be the last time that he’ll embark on a tour of this nature. “I don’t want to do anything on this scale again. No more stadiums. I’d like to be the Tony Bennett for my generation,” he was reported as saying.

Referring to the impact of downloading music on the recording industry, he noted that, “it’s the end of a certain era, and I’m not sure how much I really want to be a part of what’s next. So, it’s a kind of a way of saying thank you to everybody before I move on.”

Michael was a member of the successful duo Wham before embarking on solo career. In recent years he has said that he would quit the music business and made headlines thanks to his alleged illegal use of prescription and recreational drugs.

He came out as gay in 1998 after being arrested for apparently soliciting sex from a plainclothes policeman in a public bathroom in the US.

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