Posted: Jul 18 2012
LONDON – Singer George Michael who end last year spent three-weeks in a coma as the result of a severe lung infection, says he awoke unable to speak in his normal London accent.
Michael says he woke up speaking the broad West Country accent, spoken in Western England.
“I swear this is true,” the 49-year-old told London’s LBC radio station on Tuesday. “I came out of my coma talking in this West Country accent.”
London-born Michael, who almost died of pneumonia at the end of last year, said he was unable to revert to his usual accent for two days after gaining consciousness and his family feared he would be stuck with the new one forever.
Michael said that as he opened his eyes, doctors asked him if he knew who he was – to which he replied, “King of the world?” in the distinctive West Country burr.
“The doctors were worried that I had this condition where some people wake up speaking French or some language they learned at school,” he said.
“There’s nothing wrong with a West Country accent,” said the former star of the 1980s pop duo Wham!, “but it’s a bit weird when you’re from north London.
“My sisters, who were obviously so relieved that I’d actually woken up, were just laughing away at this stand up comedy.”
Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare medical condition in which people emerge from a neurological injury speaking in an entirely different accent. In some cases, they speak fluently in a language they barely know.
George Michael‘s new single, White Light, is about the near-death experience.
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