George Michael thinks musicians who “show off” won’t last.

The British singer has been enjoying success since the ‘80s and is currently promoting his latest album, Symphonica.

He believes there are certain reasons his music has stood the test of time.

“I think the most important thing is to put your heart into it,” he explained to Universal International Division.

“You have to have this need to honestly express yourself through your music, rather than just wanting to show off and make a bit of easy money. It’s always been my aim to be very direct in my songs, to show real emotion, and that’s never changed. When music truly comes from the heart it can be just as much of an artwork as a painting or a novel.

“Well, I’ve been successful for a long time now, which is every musician’s dream, right? Why exactly that is I can’t say; I really can’t. Maybe it’s because people can still hear this energy, this wish to put my all into my music. But who knows?”

George began his musical career by busking in the London underground DJ-ing at local clubs and schools.

The 50-year-old may have hit the big time now, but his parents were never so sure.

“I never told them that I wanted to be a popstar,” he admitted.

“They did know that I was completely crazy about music, though. And it’s true; my father always told me that he wasn’t convinced of my talent as a singer. Quite the opposite in fact.”

George’s last performances were as part of his Symphonica Tour throughout 2011 and 2012, during which he was rushed to hospital after developing pneumonia.

It was a difficult time for the star, who was fighting for his life at the time.

“It’s true, I almost died,” he said.

“What happens on a subconscious level there is pretty terrifying and I also know that I will never feel as certain about things as I did before that. But on the other hand, I was just so thankful that I survived and so happy when I was back in London.”