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George Michael released after four weeks in jail

Pop singer George Michael was released from prison on Monday after serving four weeks for driving under the influence of prescription drugs and marijuana. Michael, 47, smashed his car into the facade of a London photo shop in July.
/ Source: news services

George Michael has regained his freedom.

The wayward singer was released from jail Monday after serving almost four weeks for driving under the influence of drugs.

Michael, 47, thanked those who had supported him while he was jailed and said outside his north London home: "I just want to start again."

The former Wham! singer received an eight-week sentence on Sept. 14 for crashing his car into a London photo shop in July while high on prescription drugs and marijuana.

The judge ordered Michael to serve four weeks of the sentence in prison and the rest on parole. The musician, whose hits include "Faith" and "Freedom," also received a 1,250 pound (about $2,000) fine and lost his driver's license for five years.

Michael, who has sold an estimated 100 million albums as a solo artist, hinted in a statement last week that he would return to the recording studio after years without releasing new material.

The star has a history of drug and driving offenses. He was banned from driving for two years in 2007 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service after admitting to driving when unfit due to drugs.

In 2008, Michael apologized to fans after being arrested and cautioned by police for possession of drugs, promising to "sort himself out."