After five decades of performing to live audiences around the world, Sir Elton John has announced that he will be retiring from global touring.
The music icon held a press conference today that was streamed live through his official website and his YouTube channel.
He confirmed, “I’m not gonna be touring anymore,” other than the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” – a tour that will start in September. It will be his global farewell tour but it will take several years to complete and will include 300 shows.
“I gave people a hell of a lot of pleasure,” Elton John said to ABC News’ Robin Roberts.” Our songs will live on.”
“I want my last performance to be in America because my first performance will be in America,” he mentioned. “This is where I got my start, this is in 1970 at the Troubadour that it all started, and I owe this country so much, and I’m so fond of this country … I want to start and finish in America”
“My priorities have changed,” he added. He wants to focus on his family (his children and husband, David Furnish. “In 2015, David and I sat down with a school schedule … I don’t want to miss too much of this.”
Talking about his children, Elijah, 5, and Zachary, 7 Elton Jon said: “I love them so much, I don’t want to miss them and I don’t want them to miss me.”
John’s album sales exceed 200 million, he has won five Grammy’s, a Tony Award and an Oscar for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” He has been performing live since the early 1960s and also had a lucrative recurring show in Las Vegas for the past six years.
His announcement started with a special Virtual Reality performance of John over many years and included well knows hit songs like “Rocket Man” and “Your Song.” Then he performed “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing” live from New York.
This final tour is John’s way of saying “thank you and goodbye” to his fans. “I want to go out with a bang.”
The 70-year-old leaked a clue to social media and the news on Tuesday.
“A wrinkle in time. Past meets present. A taste of things to come at the #EltonEvent today. Watch the special announcement live,” he wrote, linking back to Elton John’s site.
You'll finally see where the future lies…
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) January 23, 2018
Elton John also uploaded a brief clip of his past tours to YouTube and promoted an event at London’s Kings Cross Station, where an augmented reality version of John plays a grand piano.
This announcement comes many months after his manager and husband, Furnish, mentioned to Music Week that “Elton must never stop performing…I think he feels he needs to take a breather, he needs to step back and take a pause. He’s also working on his memoirs and then we have a few surprises up our sleeve,”
John is planned to perform a duet with Miley Cyrus at the upcoming Grammy Awards.