Elton John risked death by playing through the pain at 10 shows while unknowingly battling appendicitis.
The Rocket Man hitmaker was convinced he was suffering from a bad bout of food poisoning when he was struck down with crippling stomach cramps, but he fought through to play a number of concerts.
However, the singer finally decided to seek medical attention when the pain became too much to bear and he walked off the stage in the middle of a show in Halle, Germany on Friday.
The star was diagnosed with appendicitis, and he tells Britain's The Sun, "I'm lucky to be alive. I was a ticking time bomb. I guess I could have died at any time. I feel so lucky and so grateful to be alive. I played nine gigs and the White Tie and Tiara Summer Ball in agony."
The 66-year-old is now taking a course of antibiotics and will undergo an operation in the coming weeks.
Sir Elton was due to headline the Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival in London's Hyde Park this Friday, but he has pulled out to recover from his medical scare.
He has also called off the remaining dates on his European tour this summer, but hopes to bounce back in time to play at Britain's iTunes Festival and Bestival events in September.