Sir Elton John to announce retirement from touring

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Sir Elton John is to retire from touring after almost 50 years.

The 70-year-old hitmaker will make the announcement later on Wednesday, according to the Daily Mirror.

It is believed Sir Elton will bow out of performing after announcing one last world tour.

The musician’s website currently displays a countdown clock set for 5.30pm GMT alongside the statement: “I’ve finally decided my future lies…”.

Sir Elton’s Las Vegas residency is currently scheduled to run until May 19 while he is also billed to play two dates in Georgia in June and July.

This Sunday, the musician is to perform one of his classic hits alongside Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards where he will collect the President’s Merit Award.

Meanwhile, a special tribute concert, Elton John: I’m Still Standing, is to celebrate his career next week.

Elton John (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The post-Grammy concert will feature performances from Cyrus, Kesha, John Legend, Chris Martin, Sam Smith as well as Sir Elton himself.

Last year, his mother died just months after they had reconciled following an eight-year feud.

The retirement announcement comes less than a year after he was forced to cancel a series of shows when he contracted a bacterial infection.

The singer became “violently ill” during a flight home from Santiago, Chile and was admitted to hospital where he spent two nights in intensive care.

Following his return to home, he had to cancel the May and April dates in his Las Vegas residency.

It was not the first time ill health stopped the veteran musician from taking to the stage.

In 1999 he was fitted with a pacemaker when doctors found he had an irregular heartbeat,  while in 2013 the star performed 10 concerts in pain before cancelling the rest of his tour, including a headline slot at London’s Hyde Park, after being diagnosed with appendicitis.

At the time Sir Elton said he felt “grateful to be alive”, revealing that he could have died at any time while struggling through his European tour unaware he was suffering from the condition.

In 2012 he cancelled a number of shows as a result of a respiratory infection which struck him during a series of US dates.

He also missed concerts due to a bout of food poisoning.

Sir Elton began performing aged 15 in 1962 under his birth name, Reggie Dwight, at a pub near his home in Pinner, Middlesex.

By 1970 he was touring the US, where he became an instant success.

He formed the Elton John Band and was soon touring the world, becoming the first international pop singer to perform in Soviet Russia.

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