Elton John is retiring from touring, but not before embarking on a massive world tour run, to say goodbye to fans of the knighted piano player and singer who gave the world hits like “Rocket Man” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
John made the announcement today at New York’s Gotham Hall, with media gathering at the Troubadour in Los Angeles and a venue in London to watch a live stream in VR, while thousands of fans tuned into YouTube to watch the announcement online. At 12:45 p.m. EST, the event opened with a dazzling, psychedelic video going through the singer’s biggest hits before cutting to him performing a live version of “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing,” followed by a press conference.
“I’m not going to be touring anymore, apart from this global tour which launches in September,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, noting he will be saying goodbye with a 300-date, three-year worldwide Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour promoted by AEG Presents.
“My priorities have changed in my life,” John told Cooper, noting the impact of his 2005 marriage to advertising executive David Furnish, as well as the birth of their two sons.
“My priorities in my life are now my children, my husband and my family,” he told Cooper.
John said now “the time is right to say thank you to my fans,” launching his tour at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, followed by arena shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden (Oct. 18-19), Amway Center in Orlando (Nov. 27) and Staples Center (Jan. 22-23, 2019). John promises an over-the-top production this tour that will visually and musically take fans through his decades-long career with Gucci designing his tour wardrobe. John will head to Europe in May 2019 and will add additional dates in South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He also took time to dispel reports in the U.K. press that he was ending touring because he was sick saying “I picked up an infection in South America and it knocked me sideways for seven weeks but I still did 96 shows last year.” John said he is not retiring from recording music and writing, saying instead of touring after 2021, “mostly I’ll be taking my kid to soccer academy — which is the most important thing.”
He also added that he will not be returning to the road after the tour wraps, telling Cooper, “I’m not Cher, even though I like wearing her clothes — this is the end.”