Elton John ‘will never retire’ as he celebrates 70th birthday
Sir Elton John has marked his 70th birthday in a celebrity bash in Los Angeles.
Stars including Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga and Ryan Adams all performed at the event, which was hosted by actor Rob Lowe.
The party came as rumours continued to swirl about retirement for the legendary singer.
He has previously said a decision on whether to stop touring will be made in the next six months.
Speaking of his 70th, Sir Elton said: “Some people don’t like birthdays, they don’t like celebrating, they don’t want to know about them, and I’ve always enjoyed my birthday.
“Seventy sounds so archaic, doesn’t it?
“When I was growing up, 70 sounded like the end of the world. But things have changed — you’re only as old as you feel inside.”
Sir Elton previously discussed winding down his career to spend more time with his family.
He said: “Obviously I work – but the work will get less and less and I’ll spend more time with my children growing up.
“And that’s what I want to do, I’ll gradually phase things out in a few years.
“It’s not forever but I want to see my kids grow up. I go all over the world. I just don’t want to tour so much.”
Now his close friend and performer Bernie Taupin has spoken out about the retirement rumours.
Asked about a pending end to Sir Elton’s performing, Taupin told the Mirror: “No. Good lord, no.
“I will retire when they put me in the grave – it’s the same for Elton.
“Absolutely. We are work horses.
“We enjoy what we do. We always have.
“We have the same enthusiasm now as we did when we started out in 1967.”
However Sir Elton has hit out at the radio industry – saying they refuse to play his music because he’s too old.
According to HeatStreet, he told a biographer his music no longer makes it onto the airwaves in the States because of ageism.
He said: “There comes a point where you have to admit that you’re not gonna get played on the radio in America because it’s ageist.
“There’s a whole stream of different music come along now. And you have to face up to it.”
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Madonna made similar claims in 2015, explaining stations including BBC Radio 1 stopped playing her music as she got older.
In 2012, BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills had said in a PinkNews interview that Madonna was “not relevant” to 17-year-olds.
Madonna said: “My manager said to me, ‘If you’re not in your twenties, it’s hard. You might get your record played in your thirties.
“There’s a handful of people who do – Pharrell [who is 41] got lucky. But if you’re in your fifties, you can forget it.”
She added: “We’ve made so many advances in other areas – civil rights, gay rights – but ageism is still an area that’s taboo and not talked about and dealt with.”