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

The music icon discusses his plans to retire from touring in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.
5:36 | 01/25/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Elton John opens up about retiring from touring: 'Our songs will live on'
Our "Gma" cover story, sir Elton John taking what he calls a leap of faith announcing his final world tour so he can spend more time with his family. I had a chance to sit down with him talk about his big decision, what performing means to him and what's next. ??? Hold me closer tiny dancer ??? Reporter: True to form sir Elton John held court announcing a new chapter in his fabled career. ??? I'm still standing ??? Reporter: The rock icon will retire from touring after a monumental 300-city world tour. Robin. Hi, gorgeous. Mwah. So tell us about this three-year tour because knowing you, you're going to go out with a bang. I am determined to go out with a bang. I'm just feeling very joyous about the opportunity to go around the world and play and say thank you to all the fans that I've had. Reporter: The farewell yellow brick road tour kicks off in September with stops in five continents over the next three years. Why now, Elton? Why now? Why now? Well, before the children I thought this is what I'll be doing before the day I die but I don't want to be traveling away from my children. They need me. I need them much more than another tour or doing another show. Reporter: The proud father says his two son, Zachary and Elijah with husband David furnish are now his top priority. Our boys came into our life at a late time. I've never experienced anything like it being a father and being a parent and there's no contest. I would rather be with my chirp than still be playing shows. It's a very easy decision to make. I remember David saying he could not imagine you not performing in front of a live audience, that that is something that he felt you would always have to do. And I'll stb be making music and I'll still be writing and making records. I'll still, you know, be involved in music. I can't not be involved in music. ??? ??? it's not a sacrifice ??? What do you enjoy most about being on that stage and performing? The contact with another human being. The emotion you get back from someone who doesn't know you. You don't know them. Reporter: Elton John's illustrious career spans over five decades. From hits like "Rocket man." ??? Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone ??? Reporter: To "Candle in the wind". ??? Never knowing who to cling to when the rain sets in ??? Reporter: He sold over 300 million records with 31 platinum albums and five grammys. Has there been a defining song you've performed? Oh, I have to say "Your song" because it was the first great song that we wrote. ??? How wonderful life is while you're in the world ??? And I've been singing it ever since 1970. It stood the test of time. When you think about "Lion king" and how that introduced you to another audience -- I was so lucky. That completely changed my life. ??? And can you feel the love tonight ??? Certain things like that happen at certain times where one phone call, one decision, one gut feeling has made my life better. This is the same gut feeling that I had when I said yes to do this as a farewell tour? Good for you because I think we all have that inner voice but not many of us listen to it. It's called a leap of faith and the leap of faith is scary but there's no enjoyment in life without a bit of fear and I've always tried to push myself through it. I'm having a hard time thinking about that last -- that 300th performance. What is it that you want to leave on the stage and leave with people as you exit the stage? That I gave people a hell of a lot of pleasure, that our songs will live on and that I'm not disappearing and I will be making music, but I want my last performance to be in America because this is where I got my start and I owe this country so much and I'm so fond of this country that I want to start and finish in America. ??? So good-bye yellow brick road ??? He's at peace. It's a decision he was talking with his husband about for the last few years. He assures me it has nothing to do with his health. He was hospitalized for a time last year. That's right. But he said that is not the reason why. He wants to spend time with his family. His two boys are 7 and 5 and when they're younger, he said they're portable so they could go out on the road but once they become school age. We know that. All too well and that's what he wants to do. That's to the saying you don't want to live to work. You want to work to live. It's still 300 more concerts. And a few continents but Elton John saying he's taking a leap of faith, a man who's accomplished all that he has and it's a lesson for all of us to do that and to not let fear stop you from doing what it is that is in your heart to do. You have a favorite song, by the way. Oh, too many. Too many. My is "Your song." We played it out wedding. That was our first dance. I would love to see that first dance. I danced at my wedding. I'm not going to dance on TV.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":52593433,"title":"Elton John opens up about retiring from touring: 'Our songs will live on'","duration":"5:36","description":"The music icon discusses his plans to retire from touring in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts. ","url":"/GMA/video/elton-john-opens-retiring-touring-songs-live-52593433","section":"GMA","mediaType":"default"}