British singer George Michael was “terribly lonely” before he came out as gay.

Michael, who was forced to come out in 1988 after he was arrested for lewd conduct in a Los Angeles men's room, was 53 when he died in his British home on Christmas Day, 2016. He sold over 100 million records over four decades.

On Wednesday, BBC Radio 2 broadcast the first part of a two-part interview Michael gave before his death.

“I was terribly lonely,” Michael told Kirsty Young. “Because not only had I, by then, come out to my best friends and pretty much all the people I cared a lot about apart from my family, I was still desperately lonely.”

“From this huge, huge record, it put this loneliness into such stark contrast of being on my own when I went to bed every night, and every night, and every night. Especially on tour.”

“I was not rock and rolling on tour. I was taking care of my vocal chords and was in bed by 11:30 at night every night. It was just a horribly lonely experience. And the only good part of my day was playing live.”

Michael added that he hid his sexuality because he didn't want his mother to worry that he would acquire AIDS.

“I wasn't ready to come out. It was the era of AIDS,” he said. “When my mother was alive, God bless her, she would have immediately assumed the same paranoias that I did as a gay man about AIDS in the mid 80s. It was not a good time for the gay community, so for my mother's sake and my sister's sake, I didn't want them to kind of look at my life as a dangerous place.”

"And if I'm really honest, I think something, somebody, some entity, wasn't ready to let me have a full life. I still had to make more records, I still had to find the next creative step."

BBC Radio 2 will broadcast the second part of Michael's final interview on Wednesday.

(Related: Adam Lambert performs musical tribute to George Michael at Project Angel Food gala.)