Elton John announced his retirement from touring at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.


The prolific musician is ending a 6-year Las Vegas residency in May, and he announced that he will be retiring from live music touring. The 70-year-old (will be 71 on March 25) has sold more than 200 million records throughout his career, and is one of the world’s most in-demand live performers. Just last year, John was forced to cancel nine shows in Vegas due to a bacterial infection he contracted in South America.

The press conference aired in London and New York simultaneously at 12:30 p.m. EST. John and his management team had been teasing the announcement on social media. “You’ll finally see where the future lies…” and “A wrinkle in time. Past meets present,” were the taglines used to tout the event.

“I’m not going to be touring anymore,” he told Anderson Cooper at New York’s Gotham Hall at the live-streamed event. “I’m not going to be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed. I have young children.” His last hoorah, however, will be a three-year, 300-date world tour, called “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” “That doesn’t mean I won’t still be creative,” John added. “But I won’t travel any more… I don’t want to go out with a whimper. I want to go out with a bang… It’ll be the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done.”

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour kicks off in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 8.

Currently, the star is working on a Broadway musical based on The Devil Wears Prada, as well as the live-action Lion King film and animated movie Sherlock Gnomes, which is produced by John’s production company. The singer will also perform a duet with Miley Cyrus as the Grammy Awards on Sunday and will host a special concert in his honor at Madison Square Garden the following Tuesday, with guests including Sam SmithKeith UrbanJohn LegendChris Martin, and Kesha.

While many artists have historically announced their retirement only to come back a few years later, John assured fans that this would not be the case with him. “I’m not Cher,” he said. “I’m 71. I can’t physically do the traveling anymore. 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.” He did not, however, rule out a possible future residency.

“I haven’t had much time off in my life,” the singer said. “I definitely want to make a couple more albums, but that will be easy since I can do that at home. I want to see friends. I want to spend time at my house and with my photography collection. I’m really looking forward to this tour and I’m really looking forward to the 300th date.”

John’s husband, David Furnish, told Music Week last year that “Elton must never stop performing. Some people relish the idea of a retirement where they do nothing [but] for Elton that would be purgatory.” He also added, “I think given our commitments to our kids and our family – and now our boys are nearly seven and five and at that point where they need you present more than ever – it’s important we’re there to support them. So that will have an impact on what we do.”

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