Elton John is retiring from the stage after a 300-date farewell tour

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Hot on the heels of music legend Neil Diamond announcing his retirement from live performing, the equally iconic Elton John has also let it be known that his road days will soon be behind him – but it’s thankfully not because of health reasons. My heart couldn’t take another blow right now.

During a live press conference in New York on Wednesday afternoon, which was streamed on Elton’s VEVO channel on YouTube, he performed his hits “I’m Still Standing” and “Tiny Dancer” before telling moderator Anderson Cooper that he was taking his final bow after a massive global farewell tour. The 70-year-old singer told Cooper, “I’m not going to be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed. I have young children.” He added that his adopted sons with husband David Furnish, Elijah, four, and Zachary, six, are getting older and are at “an important time in their lives I love them so much and I don’t want to miss them and I don’t want them too miss me.”

In order to properly say goodbye to his fans from around the world, Elton is embarking on a three-year, 300-date global tour, dubbed the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, kicking off in Allentown, Pennsylvania on September 8th. Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 2nd. Of the tour, Elton told Cooper, “It’s a way of going out with a bang. I don’t want to go out with a whimper.” He then joked, “I’m not a whimper-y guy.” Elton promises that the show will “be the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done.” The guy owns Vegas, so I would expect nothing less. His costumes will be designed by Gucci, because, as he put it, the fashion house “gets the spirit of Elton John” so expect some fabulousness.

Don’t worry fans, this tour doesn’t mean that Elton is hanging up his bedazzled glasses anytime soon. He assured the assembled crowd that a farewell tour “doesn’t mean I won’t still be creative,” asserting “I’ll be creative until the day I die.”

Elton has amassed 300 million album sales, with 38 gold and 31 platinum albums, with his last effort, 2016’s Wonderful Crazy Night ranked as one of the year’s 50 best albums by Rolling Stone. In addition to counting to make music, he’s also working on his memoir, set to be published in 2019. In a statement announcing the project back in October, Elton said, “My life has been one helluva rollercoaster ride and it’s still lumbering on. I hope readers will enjoy the ride too.”

He’s still standing, that’s for sure, but don’t think Elton is going the way of acts like KISS and Cher, staging multiple farewell tours. As Elton quipped, “I’m not Cher…even though I like wearing her clothes.” When asked if there’s anything left for him to do in his professional career, Elton responded, “There’s always something left, Anderson. If you look and you’re willing to accept new things, life unfolds for you.” You can see Elton performing on Sunday night’s GRAMMY Awards.

Love him or hate him (I am firmly in the former here), Elton is a legend, and I’m sad to see him go. I have been fortunate enough to see him live a few times, the most memorable being at a private event back in my CNN days. He may be a diva (oh, who are we kidding? See the documentary Tantrums and Tiaras if you don’t believe me), but his philanthropic work through his AIDS Foundation has helped so many people. I will definitely be in the audience to say my farewell.

Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York

Elton John in concert

BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park

Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com

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13 Responses to “Elton John is retiring from the stage after a 300-date farewell tour”

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  1. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Love him and yes he is the biggest and b!tchiest diva queen of them all. Am going to try and get tickets for any London show – this tour will be a sell out at they usually are.

  2. V4Real says:

    I hope it’s not like a Barbara Streisand retirement.

  3. sparrow2 says:

    I love him & will absolutely be catching one of his shows on the farewell tour. This will be the 9th time I have seen him in concert & each show is always high energy & fresh. Can’t wait!!

  4. Loopy says:

    Are some of these farewll tours some sort of marketing trickery, because Cher it seems had multiple then people come out in droves to say good bye and then another is anounced,i think its misleading.

  5. milla says:

    Loved him since i was a kid. He may be diva and all but he is also man with kind heart and his works for charities will never be forgotten. Just like his music. Hope he enjoys his retirement with his beautiful family.

    P.s. lets not forget how many times he helped young artists. It is truly amazing. He is amazing.

  6. Astrid says:

    I saw him for the first time a few years ago in Detroit. He was so kind and warm and wonderful to the audience, signing play bills etc. A consummate professional entertainer.

  7. Whataboutme says:

    I am confused. He says his young children are at an amazing age and he wants to spend more time with them. So he decides to set off for a thre year tour around the world?

    If he were a woman he would get slammed for this. Sure, he might bring his kids, but 300 cities in 3 years is a lot for young kids to handle.


    • sparrow2 says:

      It is a bit contradictory…

    • Zip says:

      I was wondering the same. Also, he’s 70. At that age travelling and playing 100 shows a year might be a bit much.

    • milla says:

      Madonna went on tours. Pretty sure she will go again. And she has kids. It is his passion and he has a husband, so the kids won’t be left on their own. Nor they will have to travel all the time.

      Imagine the backlash if his kids don’t look perfectly happy? I am sure this was well planned out cos homophobia is still alive and kicking

  8. BrandyAlexander says:

    I have seen him so many times, and will get in line for tix to this tour. Him & Prince are the best performers I have ever seen. I wonder if he’s giving up his limited residency in Vegas too.

  9. Turtle says:

    Back when I devoured “Interview” magazine, he used to have a regular Q&A where he talked about new music and up-and-coming artists he was listening to. I always looked forward to his recommendations. How many artists choose to stay that relevant?

    Elton’s diva antics will be with him forever, I guess, but he’s clearly calmed down a lot. And his philanthropy is the real deal.

    His kids aren’t adopted; I think he’s actually the biological father of one or both.

  10. Hazel says:

    Got to see him twice in the early ‘80s. He’s the best.