Elton John Doubles Down on Retirement After ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ Tour: ‘I’ve Had Enough Applause’

“I don’t want to be away from my family,” the singer-songwriter said on Friday

Elton John
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Sir Elton John has doubled down on his intention of bidding farewell to life on the road – and not just the “Yellow Brick” one. The legendary musician told “Today” host Carson Daly that he is looking forward to spending time with family after the European leg of his 300-date tour concludes in spring of 2023.

“I’ll be 76 [when the tour is over],” he said. “I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth after that. You know, I’ve had enough applause. I don’t want to keep traveling. I don’t want to be away from my family.”

John has two sons – 8-year-old Elijah and 10-year-old Zachary – with husband David Furnish. “They’re going to be teenagers soon,” he said. “I need to be with them.”

The “Rocketman” and “Tiny Dancer” singer-songwriter first announced his intention of making his “farewell tour” really a farewell tour back in 2018, telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “My priorities have changed in my life. Ten years ago, if you asked me if I would stop touring I would have said no. But we had children and that changed our lives.”

For the time being, he is resuming his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” world tour following a series of delays. He postponed the remaining leg of his North American tour twice due to COVID-19 in early 2020. In September of this year, the tour faced yet another setback when John sustained a “painful” hip injury late in the summer.

“Despite intensive physio and specialist treatment, the pain has continued to get worse and is leading to increasing difficulties moving,” he explained in a statement. “I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications.” 

Still, John didn’t slow down during the pandemic. In 2021, he performed at the Global Citizen Live charity show in Paris, where he was previously honored for his efforts to end AIDS through the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Over the course of the pandemic, he collaborated with Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks — to name a few – on the album “The Lockdown Sessions,” which debuted Oct. 22.

And while John is “so excited to go and play again in front of people,” he’s also eagerly anticipating having some downtime after a whirlwind couple of years.

“I’m going to go out in the biggest possible way, performing at my very best, with the most spectacular production I’ve ever had, playing in places that have meant so much to me throughout my career,” he said in June.

“Everything excites me, just, you know the life I’ve had, the career I’ve had, the family I’ve got,” he added on Friday. “Every day is a bonus. I’m sober, I’m clean, and I can appreciate life on life’s terms.”