Sir Elton John denies suffering ill health as he announces farewell tour
Sir Elton John is to perform his last ever tour after 50 years in the music industry.
The 70-year-old legend has called time on his musical career, but denies the decision is due to failing health.
In 2017 he was forced to cancel nine shows after contracting a virus that could have killed him.
Sir Elton’s farewell tour will be spread over three years, taking in 300 performances around the world.
Speaking at a press conference in New York he said: “I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, BB King – on the road forever.
“My priorities have changed. We had children and I changed our lives. That doesn’t mean to say I’m not going to be creative, but I’m not going to travel.”
The star denied reports that he was retiring due to ill health.
“Last year I picked up an infection and I was very ill and it knocked me sideways,” he said.
“But I still did 96 shows. Believe me – if you ever do 300 shows, you’re not in ill health.”
The five-time Grammy winner has sold more than 300 million records during his career and is one of the most in-demand live performers on the planet.
He indicated the decision earlier, cryptically writing online: “A wrinkle in time. Past meets present… You’ll finally see where the future lies…”
The announcement comes weeks after his beloved mother passed away following a short illness.
The I’m Still Standing singer, who has two sons with husband David Furnish, nearly died last year after contracting a bacterial infection while touring in South America.
The infection was described by experts as “rare” and “potentially deadly”, causing him to cancel a string of shows.
Sir Elton’s friends reportedly pleaded with him to slow down after the health scare.
A source told The Sun: “Elton has a real close-knit circle of friends who are genuinely worried about him.
“Nobody wants him to burn himself out and they hope this recent scare will encourage him to take stock.
“But he’s not even considering retirement at present.”
Last year he admitted that a change in his work was inevitable as he marked his 70th birthday.
“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.”
His late mother, Sheila Farebrother died age 92 in December, just months after the mother and son ended their longstanding feud.
In a post to Instagram, he described the funeral as “perfect”.
Writing after her funeral he said: “Dear Mum, today’s funeral was perfect.
“Having the service in the family chapel and attended by your brother and sister brought us all comfort.
“Having the service where Nan lived out her final days brought you and your Mother back together again.
“Tomorrow your friends will gather separately to say their good byes. I’ve chosen all the music so everything will be just right.”
He added: “Thank-you for bringing me into the world and for all that you have done for me. Love, Elton #RIP.”