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George Michael breaks period of silence with new album, 'Symphonica'

FILE- British singer George Michael in concert to raise money for AIDS charity Sidaction, in Paris, France, in this file photo dated Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. After a spell of making headlines for mishaps rather than music, Michael announced Monday Jan. 20, 2014, that his sixth solo album,

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FILE- British singer George Michael in concert to raise money for AIDS charity Sidaction, in Paris, France, in this file photo dated Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. After a spell of making headlines for mishaps rather than music, Michael announced Monday Jan. 20, 2014, that his sixth solo album, "Symphonica," is due for release March 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, FILE)

LONDON - After a spell of making headlines for mishaps rather than music, George Michael is coming back with a new album.

Michael announced Monday that his sixth solo album, "Symphonica," is due for release March 17.

It includes his own songs as well as covers including Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares for Me." It was produced by Michael and Phil Ramone, who died in March.

Michael recorded the album during a 2011-2012 tour that was interrupted when he contracted life-threatening pneumonia.

The former Wham! singer was hospitalized again last year after falling from a car on a highway near London.

He was imprisoned for eight weeks in 2010 for possessing marijuana and driving under the influence of drugs after he crashed his Range Rover into a photo shop.

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