Elton John on why he's going on one final world tour

"There's no contest. I'd rather be with my children than still be playing shows," the singer told ABC News' Robin Roberts.
6:27 | 01/26/18

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Transcript for Elton John on why he's going on one final world tour
night's all right to I'm still standing -- ??? ??? I'm still standing after all this time ??? ??? ??? ??? Reporter: For nearly 50 years, sir Elton John has wowed the world with his music and showmanship. ??? ??? hold me closer tiny dancer ??? Reporter: His most famous songs, like tiny dancer -- standing the test of time. And true to form, with an over-the-top concert announcement, music's rocket man is retiring from touring. ??? ??? Reporter: But not without a monumental worldwide farewell tour. 300 dates over three years. Robin? Hi, gorgeous. Why now, Elton? Well, before the children, I thought, this is what I'm doing until the day I die. Probably collapse on stage and die. But I don't want to be away from my children. They need me, I need them, much more than doing another tour show. Reporter: The proud father said he and husband David furni furnish began planning this in 2007. Their sons must be priority one. You know what, I desperately want to spend as much time with them as possible, which means, I will do one big tour to say goodbye. This is god or someone telling me, this is what you have to do now, enjoy these gorgeous creatures that you've got. Reporter: At 70 years old, he said it was an easy decision. 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 remember David said, he couldn't 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 stilling writing, making music, making records. I'll still be involved in music. I can't not be involved in music. Reporter: His music career has been prolific. With hits like Benny and the jets. ??? ??? Reporter: And rocket man. ??? ??? oh I'm a rocket man ??? Reporter: He's sold more than 300 million records with 31 platinum albums and five grammys. ??? ??? and they made you change your name ??? Reporter: His most popular song -- candle in the wind. ??? ??? seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind ??? Reporter: Which he famously performed at princess Diana's funeral. ??? ??? when the rain set in ??? Reporter: But it's not his favorite. Has there been a defining song that you have performed? Well, 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's stood the test of time. Reporter: Staying popular through so many decades is rare. Elton credits "The lion king" with helping bring him a whole new generation of fans. ??? ??? it's the circle of life ??? When you think about "The lion king" and how that introduced you to another audience. I was so lucky. It completely changed my life. Reporter: Songs like "Circle of life" -- ??? ??? circle of life ??? Reporter: And "Can you feel the love tonight." ??? ??? can you feel the love tonight ??? Reporter: Still wowed children, including his own. I took my boys to see it in London at the weekend, and it was just amazing. Because I move on and I forget that I've written it. I tend not to think of the best. I tend to look forward. Reporter: For now, forward means farewell. Certainly things have happened, where one phone call, one decision, one gut feeling has made my life better. This is the same kind of gut feeling when I said yes to doing "The lion king," when I said, do a farewell tour. Good for you, because we 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. Reporter: The farewell yellow brick road tour, named after one of his early hits -- kicks off in September with stops on five continents. I'm 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. What do you enjoy most about being on that stage and performing? Being, the emotion you get back from a lovely -- from someone who doesn't know you, you don't know them. Reporter: He says he's ready to perform despite a serious health scare last year. When the singer said he contracted a rare bacterial infection that left him in the hospital for 11 days. I picked up an infection in South America. Took me seven weeks to recover. And during that time, I thought, this has just reinforced my decision to stop it. And your health is good now? My haulealth is fantastic. I wouldn't be attempting 300 shows unless I was in the peak of health. 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. ??? ??? I'm still standing after all this time ??? Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm robin Roberts in New York. ???

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

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