Sir Elton John has revealed he was successfully treated for prostate cancer two years ago.
The singer, 72, was diagnosed in 2017 choosing for surgery rather than chemotherapy because he did not want the disease hanging over his family.
Sir Elton, writing in his memoir Me, serialised in the Daily Mail, said “the surgery in Los Angeles was a complete success but he was later 24 hours from death after contracting an infection in South America. I spent 11 days in a London hospital after lying awake at night wondering if I was going to die”.
The drama brought forward his decision to retire from touring so he could spend more time with husband David Furnish and their sons Zachary and Elijah.
“In the hospital, alone at the dead of night, I’d prayed, please don’t let me die, please let me see my kids again, please give me a little longer” he wrote.
“In a strange way, it felt like the time I spent recuperating was the answer to my prayers: if you want more time, you need to learn to live like this, you have to slow down.
It was like being shown a different life, a life I realised I loved more than being on the road. Music was the most wonderful thing, but it still didn’t sound as good as Zachary chattering about what had happened at Cubs or football practice. Any lingering doubts about retiring from touring just evaporated.”
Sir Elton, who is currently on his Farewell worldwide tour, also gave insight in his book how he fell out with Diana, Princess of Wales, after she backed out of a deal to write the foreword to a book for his Aids foundations.
They made up on the day fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered.
He also told how Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere nearly had a punch up over Diana at a dinner party held at his house before his huband David intervened.