Elton John Announces Final 300-Date Tour Before Retiring: 'It's a Way of Going Out with a Bang'
Elton John is retiring from touring — but not quite yet.
The 70-year-old pop icon announced at a press conference in New York City on Wednesday that he’ll embark on one final global tour before leaving behind a life on the road.
“I am not going to be touring apart from the last tour, which will start in September,” John announced at the event, while in conversation with Anderson Cooper. “Last time touring and traveling the world.”
John noted that his priorities have changed since becoming a father with longtime partner David Furnish, 55.
“We had children,” John said of sons Zachary, 7, and Elijah, 5. “And that changed our lives. In 2015, David and I sad down with school schedule, and I thought ‘I don’t want to miss this.’ I’ve had an amazing life, I’ve had an amazing career… My life has changed, the priorities in my life have changed, my priorities are my children, my husband and my family.”
The star added, “And I thought the time is right to say thank you to all of my fans around the world.”
John’s Farewell Yellowbrick Road tour will kick off in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 8, and continue over the course of three years with 300 dates. He teased that it will be the “best production I’ve ever done”
“I’ve had a pretty good run,” John said, adding, “It’s a way of going out with a bang. I don’t want to go out with a whimper.”
He also noted that he’ll continue to make music and that fans can expect more creative projects in the years following the tour’s conclusion.
John began playing piano at an early age and started touring in the mid-1960s as part of the band Bluesology, which got gigs opening for acts like Patti LaBelle and the Isley Brothers.
The musician answered a magazine advertisement in 1967 that put him in touch with lyricist Bernie Taupin, who went on to become a collaborator who launched John into fame with hits like “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets” and “Candle in the Wind.”
John became known for his elaborate stage costumes during live performances, which took him around the world for 50 years. This time, his ensembles will be designed by Gucci.
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John released his 32nd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night, in February 2016.
The singer canceled all of the April and May performances of his Las Vegas residency, The Million Dollar Piano at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, after contracting a bacterial infection during his tour of South America and spending two nights at the hospital.
“Seventy sounds so archaic, doesn’t it?” John told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe ahead of his birthday in March. “When I was growing up, 70 sounded like the end of the world. But things have changed —you’re only as old as you feel inside.”
Though John admitted that sometimes his physical strength is down, he said, “My inner self I feel great.”