NEW YORK • Singer Elton John on Wednesday announced a three-year farewell world tour, saying he would quit travelling afterwards to focus on life with his family.
The 70-year-old, one of the world's best-selling recording artists over a 50-year career, told a news conference in New York that his priorities have changed after becoming a parent to two sons with his husband, Canadian film-maker David Furnish.
"I love them so much. I don't want to miss them and I don't want them to miss me," he said. "I've had a good run." He said his last tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, would start in September in the United States and would last through 2021, taking him all around the world.
"It will be a wonderful way to thank people," he said. "It's a way of going out with a bang. I'm not the kind of guy to go out with a whimper."
He made the announcement after a live performance of his hits, Tiny Dancer and I'm Still Standing.
With his piano rockers, ballads and flamboyant stage costumes, John has dominated the pop industry for decades with hits.
On Wednesday, he denied British media reports that he was quitting touring because of ill health.
However, he said he had been on the road since he was 17, adding: "I can't physically do the travelling anymore. I want to be home with my children more."
John and Furnish, 55, are raising two sons, Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five, who were born through a surrogate mother.
John is due to perform at the Grammy Awards in New York on Sunday.
On Tuesday, musicians including Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Chris Martin and Sam Smith will pay tribute to his career at a previously announced concert in New York.
John, who has won Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards for his work in music, film and theatre, said he planned to remain creative, but would likely take two or three years off from writing music after the tour.
He said he was open to concerts after the tour, but likely only in his native Britain.
Once a hard-partying rock star with a voracious appetite for cocaine and alcohol, John has achieved the kind of long-lasting fame enjoyed by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
He is also one of the first celebrities to become involved in the fight against Aids.
His Aids Foundation, established in 1992, has raised millions of dollars for prevention and services.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE