In Depth

Is Elton John retiring? Singer posts cryptic message

Singer will announce important decision about his future in 5.30pm live-stream

Sir Elton John is reportedly preparing to announce his retirement from touring today, after almost 50 years on the road.

A timer displaying a countdown set to end at 5.30pm has appeared on the singer and composer’s website, alongside the cryptic message “I've finally decided where my future lies…”.

A video posted on John’s official Twitter account offers a few more clues, declaring that the 70-year-old singer-songwriter is “embarking on the next phase of his creative journey”.

Although John’s full message will be revealed in a live-stream this evening, it is understood by several news publications that the Rocket Man singer will announce that he will cease touring when his current residency in Las Vegas comes to an end in May.

Some news outlets have speculated that the 70-year-old’s health might have influenced his decision, with The Daily Telegraph noting that his announcement “comes less than a year after he was forced to cancel a series of shows when he contracted a bacterial infection”.

The news comes two days after another musical legend, Neil Diamond, announced his own retirement from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The 77-year-old revealed on Monday that he will no longer perform in concert, on advice from doctors, but said he intends to continue recording.

John, born Reg Dwight, has racked up 32 UK top ten singles and 21 top ten albums since the release of his first hit, Your Song, in 1970.

In 1994, the same year he was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, John received an Academy Award for Can You Feel The Love Tonight, which he composed in collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice for the soundtrack to Disney animation The Lion King.

In addition to his Oscar, John has also won five Grammy awards. In 1998, he was knighted for services to music as well as for his philanthropic ventures.

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