Elton John opens up about retiring from touring: 'Our songs will live on'

"My priorities have changed," he said about wanting to spend more time at home.

January 24, 2018, 7:52 PM

— -- After almost a half of century of performing for packed audiences, Sir Elton John has announced his plans to retire from global touring.

"I gave people a hell of a lot of pleasure," John told ABC News' Robin Roberts of what he hopes to leave with his fans. "Our songs will live on."

"I want my last performance to be in America because my first performance will be in America," he added of his final tour. "This is where I got my start, this is in 1970 at the Troubadour that it all started, and I owe this country so much, and I'm so fond of this country ... I want to start and finish in America."

Watch Elton John's full interview with Robin Roberts Thursday on "Good Morning America."

The icon also held a press conference today, which was streamed to his official website and YouTube.

"I’m not gonna be touring anymore," he said, aside from his last "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" that will kick off in September. This global farewell tour will last a few years and be 300 shows.

"My priorities have changed," he cited, adding that he wants to focus on family, his children and his husband, David Furnish. "In 2015, David and I sat down with a school schedule ... I don’t want to miss too much of this."

He said of his children, Elijah, 5, and Zachary, 7: "I love them so much, I don't want to miss them and I don't want them to miss me."

John, who has sold over 200 million albums, has five Grammy wins, a Tony Award and an Oscar win for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." He has been performing since the early 1960s and had a lucrative Las Vegas residency for the past six years.

PHOTO: Elton John performs on stage at Save On Foods Memorial Centre, on March 11, 2017, in Victoria, Canada.
Elton John performs on stage at Save On Foods Memorial Centre, on March 11, 2017, in Victoria, Canada.
Andrew Chin/Getty Images

The announcement opened with a special VR performance of John throughout the years, including hit songs like “Rocket Man” and “Your Song.” John then performed "Tiny Dancer" and "I'm Still Standing" live from New York.

This final tour is a way for John to say "thank you and goodbye" to his fans.

"I want to go out with a bang," he added.

The 70-year-old teased the news on social media Tuesday.

"A wrinkle in time. Past meets present. A taste of things to come at the #EltonEvent today. Watch the special announcement live," he wrote, linking back to his site.

He also posted a short clip to YouTube of his past tours and promoted an event at London's Kings Cross Station, where an augmented reality version of the star plays at a grand piano.

This news comes months after his manager and husband, Furnish, told Music Week that "Elton must never stop performing," adding, "I think he feels he needs to take a breather, he needs to step back and take a pause. He’s also working on his memoirs and then we have a few surprises up our sleeve,"

John is set to perform a duet with Miley Cyrus at this weekend's Grammy Awards.

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