Sir Elton John will end his touring career for good with a three-year “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” starting in Pennsylvania on Sept. 8, 2018.
“It’s not based on health, it’s not based on dwindling record sales,” he told U.K.’s The Sun. “I’ve had the most fantastic, lucky career. I’ve enjoyed every single minute of playing live.”
John wants to commit more time to being a dad to his sons Zachary and Elijah, who are seven and five respectively.
His final tour plans were confirmed when he wound up in intensive care with a “rare and potentially deadly” bacterial infection when he was traveling back to the U.K. from Chile.
“I went to South America, had a wonderful tour with James Taylor, came back from Chile, felt bad on the plane, got home on a Tuesday night,” he recalled to The Sun. “I was in intensive care on Thursday and stayed there for two days. I was very, very close to death. I didn’t know that … and was very fortunate I had great team of doctors.”
John said it took seven weeks to recover and he was forced to cancel a few shows.
“That is a wake-up. You think you’re completely solid and nothing is going to stop me — and then something like that, which was extremely unlucky,” he said. “Things happen for a reason… You think about your mortality and think, ‘God, I want to spend more time with the boys.'”
The singer also recently reconciled with his mother, Sheila Farebrother, after a long feud before she died last year.
“I saw her a week before she died and thought, ‘God, she’s pretty feisty, she’s going to last for a few months,'” he said. “A week later, she was dead. It really shook me.”
John said his goodbyes at a private ceremony at his Woodside estate.
“I sang, and I did a eulogy, and it was a lovely farewell.” John recounted. “It was lovely that we did reconcile because otherwise … life’s too short.”
The farewell tour will include 300 shows across five continents, according to CNN.
“I’ve been touring since I was 17 with various bands,” John said. “I thought the time is right to say thank you to all my fans and say goodbye.”
The 70-year-old had decided in 2015 that he would have one last tour before concentrating on his sons.
John has won five Grammy Awards, a Tony and an Academy Award.
In his early career, he was known for his extravagant costumes, which CNN said was “to help create a spectacle and offset his shyness onstage.”
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