Legendary musician Elton John has announced his retirement from touring. In a live event broadcast from New York City’s Gotham Hall this afternoon, the Rocket Man said he will kick off a three-year farewell tour beginning September 8 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was mapped out over the past two years, John told interviewer Anderson Cooper, because he wants to spend more time with his children. John also shot down UK tabloid reports that he was leaving the road because of illness.
“My priorities have changed in my life,” said the singer, pianist and composer who has sold over 300M records worldwide. “Ten years ago if you asked me if I would stop touring I would have said no. But we had children and that changed our lives. I have had an amazing life and career but my life has changed. My priorities are now my children and my husband and my family.”
John said he’d been touring since he was 17 and “thought the time is right to say thank you to all my fans and to say goodbye and have a breather.”
This, he reassured, does not mean he will stop being creative. The Oscar, Tony and Grammy winner is currently working on a Broadway musical based on The Devil Wears Prada, as well as the Disney remake of The Lion King. He’s also producing animated pic Sherlock Gnomes and, with STX, an animated version of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through his Rocket Pictures. Last year, John appeared in Fox’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Also in 2017, John had to cancel nine shows after contracting a bacterial infection while in South America. Addressing tabloid speculation today he said, “If I’m doing a three-year tour, I’m not in ill health. I had an illness last year but I still did 96 shows.”
He promised the Yellow Brick Road tour will be “the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done. The best production ever; it’s a wonderful way to say thank you to people… Hopefully it will be like saying goodbye to a friend.” Tickets go on sale on February 2.
John recently released a compilation record, Diamonds, and earlier this week he was awarded a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos for his charity work in the fight against AIDS.
Today’s news follows yesterday’s bombshell that Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after a Parkinson’s diagnosis.