George Michael has sparked speculation that he is set to retire following the release of a new album next year.

The music world is buzzing with rumours that the 50-year-old singer-songwriter is to bow out of the business after shutting down his website.

All content, including official merchandise has been removed from, leaving fans worried that George is set to announce his retirement.

The singer suffered injuries after a near fatal car crash in May when he fell out the passenger seat of a Range Rover on a busy M1 motorway near London.

The star, who has also previously battled a life-threatening bout of pneumonia, was airlifted to hospital - where he remained for two weeks - after suffering head injuries, cuts and bruises.

Despite his recent health woes, George signed a lucrative record deal with Universal Music last year, but is yet to release any new material.

However he did unveil the track White Light, with Kate Moss starring in the video, but couldn't confirm a release date for a full album.

He said: ''I'm amazed that people are still interested after 30 years.

''I've done a few stupid things to keep them interested, but it's an amazing feeling.

''I haven't been this excited about recording or releasing music for many many years.''