1. ITV Report

Sir Elton John to retire from touring after almost 50 years to spend more time with family

Sir Elton John's career has spanned more than 50 years. Credit: PA

Sir Elton John is to retire from touring after almost 50 years, announcing that his priorities have changed since having children and he wishes to spend more time with his family.

Sir Elton, and his husband David Furnish have two sons, Elijah and Zachary.

The singer is preparing for one last world tour, called Farewell Yellow Brick Road, before his retirement, which will include 300 dates and he estimates will last for three years.

Speaking on Wednesday evening, Sir Elton formally announced his retirement, stressing that he was not giving up touring due to recent health scares, adding he is currently in good health.

In 2017, the singer was forced to cancel a series of shows when he contracted a bacterial infection in South America and spent two nights in intensive care.

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At a press conference in New York , Sir Elton said: "I am not going to be touring any more.

"It will be the last time I will be touring and travelling the world...

"My priorities have changed. We had children and that changed our lives and in 2015 we sat down with a school schedule and I thought I don't want to miss too much of this.

"My life has changed, my priorities have changed and my priority now is my family."

He added the decision was not a difficult one "because I love my kids so much and they really have taken over my life and are the most important thing.

"Three years' time is a long time - I've been in the back of a van since I was 16 and I travel so much.

"I can't physically do the travelling ... I don't want to do the travelling I want to be at home. I've had an incredible life but life is all about change.

"They ( the children) need me, they need David and I want to be there. "You can FaceTime all you want but it's not the same as being with them."

Elton John and David Furnish have two sons. Credit: PA

The 70-year-old will not disappear from the world of music for good, insisting he will still be making music and writing shows.

He added it was a chance "to say thank you to all my fans around he world and then to say goodbye. It doesn't mean I'm not going to be creative any more.

"It will take three years probably. I've been working constantly, I've been on the road ever since I made it in 1970."

"I have had a good run ... I want to go out with a bang."

Soon after the news was broken, Sir Elton's website could not be reached.

Sir Elton's Las Vegas residency is due to run until May 19. He is also billed to play two dates in Georgia in June and July.

The musician will collect the President's Merit Award at this weekend's Grammy Awards where he will also be performing.

Elton John is concert circa 1974. Credit: PA

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

He began touring the US in 1970, where he became an instant success hit.

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will begin in September 2018.