Sir Elton John can’t wait for retirement and spending time with his sons

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Honoree Elton John accepts the iHeartRadio Icon Award onstage at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, which was broadcast live on FOX on May 27, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Sir Elton John can't wait to stop performing. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Sir Elton John has admitted he's "had enough applause" and can't wait to retire from live shows so that he can spend more time with his sons.

The 74-year-old music superstar has announced plans to retire at 76 when he completes his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in 2023, saying he'll still make music but will be permanently stepping back from live shows.

Read more: Sir Elton John still prone to 'explosive' outbursts

He told the NME that he was looking forward to more family time, saying: "It’s something I want to finish. I’m looking forward to doing it and going out on the high that we were on – we were an express train that hit the buffers.

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 25: Elton John performs on stage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/Getty Images For Global Citizen)
The singer says he'll only take on the odd charity gig from now on. (Marc Piasecki/Getty Images For Global Citizen)

"At the moment I finish supposedly in 2023, in the summer, by which time I’ll be 76 – and that’s it, baby. I can’t wait to do it and have a great time, and I can’t wait to finish and say, 'No more – I’ve had enough.'"

Sir Elton originally announced his retirement in 2018 for the end of the mammoth tour, but as shows have been postponed by the pandemic, he is not due back on the road again until early 2022 when the tour is set to resume in New Orleans.

Talking about his retirement plans, he added: “I will do records and I’ll do my radio show, but as far as schlepping and doing shows? I’ve had enough applause. I wanna be with my family. I wanna be with my boys."

Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran are teaming up for Christmas. (Getty)
Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran are teaming up for Christmas. (Getty)

He said that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life "flying here, flying there" and would only perform live in future for the odd charity gig.

Sir Elton has two sons with husband David Furnish - Zachary, 11, and Elijah, eight.

Read more: Sir Elton John motivated Victoria Beckham to step away from Spice Girls

In the interview, the singer also spoke about his forthcoming festive track with pal Ed Sheeran and joked that he'd spilled the secret of their collaboration too early.

Saying he had been sworn to secrecy about the Christmas song until nearer the time of its release, Sir Elton laughed that "big mouth f***ing Sheeran" had "let the cat out of the bag" by talking about it before they'd agreed to.

Watch: Sir Elton John first artist to get top 10 UK hit across six decades