Elton John announces his upcoming tour is his last, says ‘My priorities have changed’

Written by on January 24, 2018

NEW YORK — Sir Elton John is putting his touring days behind him.

In a live-streamed announcement on Wednesday, the 70-year-old singer announced that his upcoming world tour will be his last: He’s retiring from the road.

“My priorities have changed,” John said in a live interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, explaining his farewell.

He said he needs to dedicate more time to raising his family. His two children will be 10 and 8 years old when he steps off the road. He will continue recording and composing.

“I can’t physically do the traveling anymore,” he said. “I want to be at home. I really want to spend time with my children at home. I’ve had an incredible life, but life is all about change.”

The upcoming world tour will be grueling: three years, 300 dates stretching into 2021. He’s calling it an “epic Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” and said tickets will go on sale in North America Feb. 2.

“I’ve had a good run, I think you’d admit that,” John said, adding he wanted to “leave people thinking, ‘I saw the last tour and it was fantastic.’ “

So is he actually retiring? John acknowledged the question in a joke.

“I’m not going to say I’m retiring and then do a world tour. I’m not Cher. Though I like wearing her clothes,” said John, known for his wacky on-stage style. He announced he is partnering with Gucci for the tour costumes.

John also took a moment to thank Neil Diamond, who just announced he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, for influencing and helping him in his career.

“I’d like to pay my respects to Neil Diamond. … I’m going to contact him personally, but I’d like to say publicly that I love him and I can’t thank him enough for what he did for me,” John said.

The announcement of John’s future was made at simultaneous press conferences, in Los Angeles and in New York, where John also performed two songs, Tiny Dancer and I’m Still Standing.

 John is currently performing in his Las Vegas residency The Million Dollar Piano at Caesar’s Palace, which will end after more than 200 shows on May 19.

The residency hasn’t come without health struggles, with the singer canceling several shows because of a bacterial infection he contracted during a South American tour.

John hinted at Wednesday’s news in a tribute video on his Twitter page, announcing he is “embarking on the next phase of his creative journey.”

“I’ve finally decided where my future lies,” teased the British philanthropist/pop star, one of the world’s best-selling artists (more than 300 million records), and a major fundraiser and champion for AIDS/HIV research.

“On August 25 1970, Elton John made his US debut in a legendary six-night sold out run at West Hollywood’s Troubadour,” the video’s text reads. “Five decades later he continues to be a creative force moving faster than the speed of culture. Now Elton’s embarking on the next phase of his creative journey and it will be every bit as surprising and powerful as his first performance almost 50 years ago.”

 John is scheduled to perform a duet with Miley Cyrus at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, and musicians including Cyrus, John Legend, Kesha and Sam Smith will join him for a tribute concert at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 30.


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