Sir Elton John plans to embark on a final global tour before retiring in 2021, the 70-year-old rock superstar has announced from New York.
The announcement brings to an end a touring career spanning more than five decades and more than 4,000 performances, in more than 80 countries, but one of the world’s greatest recording artists says he won’t be retiring from music altogether.
“I’ve finally decided where my future lies,” he said in promotional teasers before announcing the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which will run for three years and feature 300 concerts.
His Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will begin in September 2018 with six months worth of concerts across the United States and Canada before shifting to Europe in 2019 before he retires to focus on raising his young sons, Zachary, 7, and Elijah, 5, with his husband, David Furnish.
Sir Elton, who turns 71 in March, said he sat down with Furnish a couple of years ago to look at the school schedule and realised “I don’t want to miss too much of this”.
“I can’t physically do the travelling anymore. I want to be home with my children more,” he said, announcing his plan in a live broadcast that also saw him perform some of his dozens of smash hits.
“My priorities now are my children, and my husband, and my family.”
Tickets for the first leg of the tour go on sale on February 2. Sir Elton will perform in Australia and New Zealand between December 2019 and February 2020, having played a series of concerts, including in regional areas, across the Australia last year.
While illness forced him to cancel some concerts in recent years, Sir Elton denied that was the reason behind his decision, saying “I’m in great health”.
He thought “I’d be like Ray Charles or B.B. King and tour forever… but once our life changes, you have the children, it changes your life so much.”
Sir Elton is one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, with 38 gold records and 31 platinum albums, 29 consecutive Top 40 hits, and he has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.
He holds the record for the biggest-selling single of all time, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” which sold more than 33 million copies.
As for where his future lies, Sir Elton said that after taking some time off, “mostly I’ll be taking my kid to soccer academy”.
Here’s part of today’s announcement:
A wrinkle in time. Past meets present.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) January 24, 2018
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