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Elton John Talks Appendicitis: "I'm Lucky to Be Alive"

Elton John, Race to Erase MS Gala Jason Merritt/Getty Images

If you ask Elton John, someone saved his life all right—doctors.

In an interview with The Sun, the Rocket Man revealed he very nearly died after coming down with an excruciating case of appendicitis, which sidelined him from his current European tour, including a big concert in London's Hyde Park.

"I'm lucky to be alive," the 66-year-old John told the U.K. paper.

After feeling intense stomach pain during some recent shows that he initially thought was food poisoning—a problem so agonizing he cut short a gig in Halle, Germany—the music legend consulted with physicians, who diagnosed him as having an appendix abscess. They also ordered him to cancel his trek or potentially risk his life.

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"I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time," added John. "I feel so lucky and so grateful to be alive. I played nine gigs and the White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball [his annual benefit raising money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation] in agony."

Sir Elton is now undergoing an intensive round of antibiotics to ease the inflammation of his appendix and stem the possibility of blood poising. He's also expected to have surgery in the U.K. in the coming weeks once the swelling goes down.

Until then, John is said to be confined to his bed at the Windsor home the father of two shares with partner David Furnish.

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No word yet when he'll make up the dates he had to scrap across the pond, but his rep said John won't resume performing until he's one hundred percent healed from his upcoming operation and the effects of the abscess.

Despite the illness, Sir Elton did have the strength to make the promotional rounds last week to hype his upcoming album, The Diving Board, hitting stores in September.

John also may have inflamed some fans of NBC's The Voice when he slammed the reality competition for producing contestants that he called "nonentities," for their failure to generate hits, let alone sustain a career, after their appearance on the show.

Perhaps his convalescence will give him time to cool down.

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