Sir Elton John has stunned music fans across the world by announcing he will finally step out of the spotlight after nearly 50 years on stage.
The 70-year-old said his “priorities have changed”, adding his and husband David Furnish’s two sons, Elijah and Zachary, have changed their lives.
John said the farewell tour is a chance “to say thank you to all my fans around he world and then to say goodbye.”
But he insisted: “It doesn’t mean I’m not going to be creative any more. I have had a good run … I want to go out with a bang.”
How to get Elton John tickets
Tickets for the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will go on sale on EltonJohn.com from February 2.
The first batch of tickets will be for the North American stint of the blockbuster tour.
Other locations on the 300-date tour will include Europe, Asia, South America and Australasia.
The veteran pop icon will start in the US in September 2018 and is due to arrive in the UK and Europe starting in 2019.
Cities he will visit in the UK include: Plymouth, Cardiff, Brighton, London, Liverpool, Leeds, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Sheffield, Birmingham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester.
Tickets go on sale for British fans in September 2018.
Asked if he would later reconsider his retirement, Sir Elton vowed never to do a “Cher”, adding: “This is the end”.
He dismissed claims that he made the decision based on a number of health problems that have struck him down in recent years.
Last year, Sir Elton was forced to cancel a series of shows when he contracted a bacterial infection.
This was not the first time ill health stopped the musician from taking to the stage.
In 1999, he was fitted with a pacemaker when doctors found he had an irregular heartbeat, while in 2013 the star performed 10 concerts in pain before cancelling the rest of his tour, including a headline slot at London’s Hyde Park, after being diagnosed with appendicitis.
Elton is due to perform at the Grammy Awards in New York on Sunday, and on January 30, musicians including Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Chris Martin and Sam Smith will pay tribute to his music and career at a previously announced special concert in New York City.
He is also booked to finish his current Las Vegas residency, which is scheduled to last until May 19.
Elton has released 30 studio albums in his career – his most recent being 2016’s Wonderful Crazy Night.
The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is named after his 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
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