May 20, 1999 12:00 AM

Elton John is going solo for the first time. Beginning next month, the singer will be touring small US cities with just his piano. It’s his first time on the road without a band. “It’s a way to keep myself fresh and on my toes,” Sir Elton, 51, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Playing alone is rewarding because “you get to do numbers you don’t normally perform with a band, and it gives you a chance to talk to the audience,” he said. The tour begins Feb. 19 in Roanoke VA. He will also play in Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Iowa, Alabama and Illinois.

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