Sir Elton John has confirmed he is to retire from touring to spend more time with his family.
The 70-year-old musician made the announcement during a press conference in New York, but only after saying he would first play 300 shows over the next three years.
Reporters and guests were asked to gather at Gotham Hall for a “special announcement” from Sir Elton.
“My priorities have changed,” he told guests. “My priorities are my children, my husband and my family.”
Press conference attendees were asked to wear a headset for a virtual reality film of Sir Elton’s past concerts, where he performed “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”.
The singer, wearing Gucci diamond-encrusted sunglasses and a glimmering suit, then played a live version of “Tiny Dancer”.
Asked about ending touring Sir Elton said: “I thought the time was right to say thank you to all my fans around the world globally and then just say goodbye and have a breather. It’s not to say I’m not going to be creative anymore.”
He also addressed rumours that he was not in good health, saying: “If you’re going to do 300 shows you’re not in ill health – I’m in great health.”
Sir Elton said it had taken two years to plan the film and event, adding that he wanted to “do it in a classy and elegant way”.
He added that if he did play live shows again, he would “imagine it being like a residency like Kate Bush”, repeating that he “will not be travelling”.
Of his touring retirement he said: “I don’t want to go out with a whimper – I want to go out with a big bang.”
Sir Elton plans to keep making records and releasing music despite his decision not to tour again.
He will perform at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards in New York alongside Miley Cyrus.
He is set to follow that event with a special concert at Madison Square Garden on 30 January, during which he’ll duet with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, John Legend and Kesha.
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