Elton John on why he's retiring from touring: 'I'd rather be with my children'

The icon speaks to Robin Roberts after announcing he will retire from touring.

— -- After nearly five decades of performing around the world, Sir Elton John said he's retiring from touring for a heartfelt reason: to spend more time with his children.

"Why now? Well, before the children, I thought ... this is what I'm going be doing till the day I die," the music industry legend told ABC News' Robin Roberts of his retirement announcement. "But I don't want to be traveling away from my children ... I'd rather be with my children than still be playing shows."

"Our boys came into our life at a late time," John told Roberts. "I've never ... experienced anything like it, being a father."

"There's no contest. I'd rather be with my children than still be playing shows," he added. "It's a very easy decision to make."

John announced Wednesday that at the end of his global "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour -- which kicks off in September and will include 300 shows across the globe -- he will retire from touring, after nearly half a century in the music industry.

"I am determined to go out with a bang," John added, referring to his final tour, saying that he feels "joyous" for the opportunity to "say thank you to all the fans that I've had."

'I am not disappearing:' John assures fans his 'songs will live on'

Despite retiring from touring, John said he'll "still be making music, writing, making records."

"I’ll still be involved in music," he added. "I can't not be involved in music."

"The emotion you get back from someone who doesn’t know you, you don’t know them," John explained. "But for that one song you are one with them ... that's greatest feeling you can have."

John, who has sold over 300 million records and had 31 platinum albums, told Roberts he believes one defining moment of his career was releasing his 1970 hit "Your Song," which he called the "first great song we wrote."

"I've been singing it ever since 1970," he added. "I've got so many songs to choose from, I can pick and choose, and If I get fed up, I can throw them out. It never happened with 'Your Song.'"

"Certain things like that have happened at certain times in my career, where one phone call, one decision, one gut feeling ... has made my life better," John said.

John told Roberts that "the same kind of gut feeling I had to do 'The Lion King' then,'" is what nudged him to do his upcoming final tour.

John added that even as he retires from touring, he hopes to leave with the fans with the knowledge that "our songs will live on."

"I am not disappearing and I will be making music," he said. "I want people to appreciate me as a musician and a human being."

Finally, John said that he wants the final performance of his final tour to be in the U.S.

"I want my last performance to be in America ... this is where I got my start," he said. "This is, in 1970 at Troubadour, that it all started."

"I owe this country so much," John said. "I want to start and finish in America."

ABC News' Michael Rothman contributed to this report