LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

London -

GEORGE Michael made a spectacular comeback after his near-fatal bout of pneumonia.

He chose the closing ceremony to make his return to the stage after the illness which he admitted was ‘touch and go’.

Dressed in a leather jacket, black jeans and sunglasses, the 49-year-old singer appeared to be fully recovered as he belted out his new single White Light, a personal ode to his experience.

It included the lyrics: ‘I’m back, I’m back, Prouder than ever baby, Louder than ever maybe.’

But there was immediate controversy over why he had been allowed to perform his new song in front of a worldwide TV audience. Fans said they would have preferred to have heard one of his old favourites.

Earlier Michael performed his classic single, Freedom 90, was surrounded by a colourful LED light display in the stands.

Organisers said they chose the single because it was ‘an iconic 1990s anthem to liberated self-expression’.

Michael’s performance was part of the section of the ceremony entitled A Symphony of British Music, which celebrated one of Britain’s most successful exports over the last 50 years.

The segment started with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, as images of sound waves filled the screens around the stadium.

More than 100 fragments of broken sculpture were then carried on to the stage to form the face of John Lennon, and his song Imagine was sung by choirs from the singer’s Liverpool birthplace.