Legendary singer George Michael reportedly battled lung problems in secret ever since he suffered from a near-fatal case of pneumonia in 2011.
While touring in Austria, Michael was brought to the hospital where doctors performed a tracheotomy to clear his airways. At the time, Michael said doctors "basically spent three weeks" keeping him alive.
"It almost killed me," he said.
A source revealed that Michael never fully recovered from his dangerous brush with death.
"His lungs never fully recovered. That can happen after a serious bout of pneumonia like George had," the source said, Daily Mail reported. "It leaves the lung scarred or damaged, which can lead to a loss of function. Part of the lung basically doesn't work anymore."
Michael's health was also reportedly worsened by his smoking habit.
"George made no secret about how much he smoked. Smoking can seriously affect the lungs and dramatically increases the risk of infection," the source said.
The Coroner's office released a statement following the singer's death, saying that an autopsy was underway"
The death of Mr George Michael has been reported to the Oxfordshire Coroner's Office.
As with all deaths where the cause of death is not immediately apparent, a post-mortem examination is to be undertaken in due course in order to confirm the cause of death. This information is required before the coroner can decide whether there is a need for an inquest. If a natural cause of death is confirmed, there will be no need for an inquest. All of this is in accordance with normal procedures and does not imply that there is currently any reason to believe the cause of death is in any way suspicious.
A source recently said that Elton John would be singing at Michael's funeral, as he had for Princess Diana in 1997.
"There will be so many mourners and friends. It will be the biggest funeral since George's mate Di’s," the source said, Daily Mirror reported. "Elton will sing as he did for Diana's funeral as a final farewell."