Legendary singer Sir Elton John today announced his future lies beyond the world of touring. In a joint London/New York news conference streamed via his website and Youtube , John announced he is retiring from touring after one last world tour. The three-year, 300-date global trek is titled Farewell Yellowbrick Road and will kick off in Pennsylvania on Sept. 8. The tour includes two dates in Chicago, Oct. 26-27, at the United Center.
In elegant couture and seated at a massive piano and in front of a live theater audience in New York and singing “I’m Still Standing,” John said to “announcement host” Anderson Cooper, “I’m not going to tour anymore.” “…My priorities have changed in my life,” John said, noting he wants to spend time with his two young sons and husband, David Furnish. “We’re going to take them out for nine months and get them a tutor. I don’t want to miss them and I don’t want them to miss me.”
“I’ve been touring since I was 17, and I thought the time was right to say thank you to all my fans. … I’ve had a good run.”
The 70-year-old John cancelled a series of shows in his Las Vegas “Million Dollar Piano” residency and shows in California last year after contracting a serious bacterial infection in South America while on tour there. He ended up in intensive care for several days and nearly two weeks in the hospital. He returned to touring following his recuperation.
The legendary singer/songwriter is slated to appear at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards where he is scheduled to perform with Miley Cyrus and where he is to receive the Grammy’s 2018 President’s Merit Award.
Elton’s legendary tours frequently took him to Chicago’s stages, including Wrigley Field.
“When I say I’m stopping touring, I’m not stopping music. I’ll be making new music… new [stage] musicals,” John added. “Whether it’s Drake or Britney Spears, music plays a part in people’s lives.”
John is currently working on a stage musical version of the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada” and a feature film version of his Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King.”
Late Tuesday, John tweeted “A wrinkle in time. Past meets present” accompanied by a video, which noted in part that he was “embarking on the next phase of his creative journey”:
A wrinkle in time. Past meets present.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) January 24, 2018
About the decision to retire from touring, John quipped:
“This was decided in 2015 in the south of France. This thing took two years to plan and to do the [announcement] film. I wanted to do it in a classic elegant way. I’m gonna do a world tour and then retire. I’m not Cher. Even though I love wearing her clothes. … I want to go out with a bang, not with a whimper – I want to leave people thinking, ‘I saw his last tour and it was amazing’.”
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Feb. 2. at eltonjohn.com.