Elton John's future really does lie beyond the yellow brick road.
In a press conference Wednesday, John announced he will soon embark on a farewell tour. Despite reports to the contrary, he also clarified that he is not retiring from music altogether. Anderson Cooper hosted a Q&A with John, a recipient of five Brit Awards and five Grammy Awards, in New York. It was live-streamed Google Cardboard or Google Daydream for VR180.
John opened with a performance of "Tiny Dancer" and "I'm Still Standing."
"The announcement is that I am not going to be touring anymore, apart form the last tour, which is going to start in September of this year. It'll be a global tour. And it's the last time that I will be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed in my life. Ten years ago, if you'd had said I have to stop touring, I'd say, 'No, no. I'm a working man,'" John said, adding, "I've had an amazing life. I've had an amazing career. I've been incredibly lucky. My life has changed. The priorities of my life have changed. My priorities now are my children, my husband and my family. I've been touring since I was 17 in various bands, and as Elton John in 1969. And I thought the time is right to say thank you to all my fans around the world globally and to say goodbye and just to have a breathe." The boys will join him for nine months with a tutor, he said. "When I stop they're going to be 10 and 8, and that's a very important time in their lives."
To do it properly, John will embark on a three-year, 300-date tour all around the world. "It'll be the best production I've ever done," he promised. "It'll be a wonderful way to thank everyone."
John plans to stay "creative," and despite reports to the contrary, he said, "I'm in great health."
Rest assured, John said he will still be "making music" in the years to come.
Gucci will outfit John with custom looks, he added.
With this tour, he said, "I want to go out with a big bang."
The decision was easier to make than one might assume, he added. "If you look and you're willing to accept new things, life unfolds before you. I'm always going to be creative. I'm always going to be interested inactive stuff. I think after this tour is finished, I'll take a few years off and see what happens. But creatively...who knows what's going to happen? If you let things happen for you, then that's the magic of life," John said. "I will be creative until the day I die."
Tickets go on sale for the general public in North America on Feb. 2, and an American Express tickets pre-sale in North America will begin Jan. 25 at 10 a.m. local time. Further ticketing details will be announced in the coming months. The tour kicks off in the U.S. on Sept. 8, 2018, and will move on to Europe in April 2019, Asia in November 2019, Australia in December 2019 and early 2020, South America in March 2020, Europe in late 2020 and North America in 2021.
Tickets for select dates go on sale Feb. 16, with American Express pre-sales running Feb. 8 through Feb. 12, and a Ticketmaster Verified Fan presale will run from Feb. 13 through Feb. 14.
Here is the list of North American dates:
Sept. 8, 2018: PPL Center in Allentown, PA
Sept. 11, 2018: The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 12, 2018: The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA
Sept. 15, 2018: KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY
Sept. 16, 2018: Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, PA
Sept. 19, 2018: XL Center in Hartford, CT
Sept. 21, 2018: Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Sept. 22, 2018: Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
Sept. 25, 2018: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON
Sept. 26, 2018: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, ON
Sept. 28, 2018, Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON
Sept. 29, 2018: Videotron Centre in Québec City, QC
Oct. 4, 2018: Bell Centre in Montreal, QC
Oct. 6, 2018: TD Garden in Boston, MA
Oct. 10, 2018: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA
Oct. 12, 2018: Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI
Oct. 15, 2018: Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI
Oct. 18, 2018: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
Oct. 19, 2018: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
Oct. 23, 2018: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY
Oct. 24, 2018: Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN
Oct. 26, 2018: United Center in Chicago, IL
Oct. 27, 2018: United Center in Chicago, IL
Oct. 30, 2018: Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO
Nov. 2, 2018: Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH
Nov. 3, 2018: Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH
Nov. 8, 2018: Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
Nov. 23, 2018: BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL
Nov. 24, 2018: American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL
Nov. 27, 2018: Amway Center in Orlando, FL
Nov. 28, 2018: Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL
Nov. 30 2018: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA
Dec. 1, 2018: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA
Dec. 4, 2018: Legacy Arena at The BJCC in Birmingham, AL
Dec. 6, 2018: Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA
Dec. 8, 2018: Toyota Center in Houston, TX
Dec. 9, 2018: Toyota Center in Houston, TX
Dec. 12 2018: AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX
Dec. 14, 2019: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Dec. 15, 2019: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Jan. 11 2019: Taco Bell Arena in Boise, ID
Jan. 12, 2019: Moda Center in Portland, OR
Jan. 15, 2019: Save Mart Center in Fresno, CA
Jan. 16, 2019: Golden1 Center in Sacramento, CA
Jan. 18, 2019: Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA
Jan. 19, 2019: SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, CA
Jan. 22, 2019: STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA
Jan. 23, 2020: STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA
Jan. 26, 2019: Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ
Jan. 29, 2019: Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA
Feb. 7, 2019: Pepsi Center in Denver, CO
Feb. 9, 2019: BOK Center in Tulsa, OK
Feb. 12, 2019: Century Link Center in Omaha, NE
Feb. 13, 2019: Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO
Feb. 19, 2019: Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center in Milwaukee, WI
Feb. 21, 2019: Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
Feb. 27, 2019: U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH
March 1, 2019: Times Union Center in Albany, NY
March 8, 2019: Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY
Marc 12, 2019: PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC
March 13, 2019: Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, SC
March 15, 2019: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL
Here is the list of European tour dates:
May 2, 2019: Stadthalle in Vienna, Austria
May 4, 2019: Tauron Arena in Krakow, Poland
May 7, 2019: O2 Arena in Prahue, Czech Arena
May 9, 2019: OVB Arena in Bremen, Germany
May 11, 2019: Schleyerhalle in Stuttgart, Germany
May 12, 2019: KoPi Arena in Oberhausen, Germany
May 15, 2019: Ziggodome in Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 18, 2019: Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark
May 19, 2019: Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden
May 22, 2019: Tui Arena in Hannover, Germany
May 23, 2019: Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium
May 26, 2019: Olympiahalle in Munich, Germany
June 1, 2019: Bowling Green in Wiebasden, Germany
June 12, 2019: 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland
June 29, 2019: Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland
June 30, 2019: Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland
The 70-year-old Grammy winner has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin since 1967, and together, they have produced over 30 albums. In his five-decade career, John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He has released dozens of hits in his five-decade career, including "Bennie and the Jets," "The Bitch Is Back," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Candle in the Wind," "Daniel," "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," "Levon," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Rocket Man," "Sad Songs," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" and "Your Song."
John released a compilation album, Diamonds, two months ago. After more than 200 concerts, his final performance of The Million Dollar Piano is set for May 19; the show marked John's second residency at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace, after The Red Piano, which ran from 2004-2009.
An Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In addition to his impressive music career, John has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for AIDS research through his namesake foundation, which he founded 26 years ago. As one of the most prominent gay men in the entertainment industry, John champions LGBTQ causes. He publicly came out as gay in 1988, entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish in 2005, and after same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.K., the couple tied the knot in 2014.
John and Furnish have two sons, both born via surrogate. "Having children changed everything about my life. I've learned that the simplest things in life—like having a minute with them—are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or any hit record. Before we had the children we just had our lives, and would spend money because we didn't have anything else to focus on. We have really toned things down because we have enough stuff. There is nothing else we need," John told The Mirror in 2016. "Of course I want to leave my boys in a very sound financial state. But it's terrible to give kids a silver spoon. It ruins their life. Listen, the boys live the most incredible lives—they're not normal kids, and I'm not pretending they are. But you have to have some semblance of normality, some respect for money, some respect for work."
Fatherhood changed John in other ways, too. "Years ago, I didn't have anything. I wanted to die on the stage. That's all I had," he told Rolling Stone in 2016, while promoting Wonderful Crazy Night. "Now I don't. I've got children. I want to come off the road. I want to be there. I want to take them to baseball. I want to take them to soccer games. My life is completely changed."