LONDON, (Reuters) – British pop musician Elton John is to quit touring after nearly 50 years, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported.
The 70-year-old star is calling time on the road after one last world tour, the newspaper said.
The newspaper said the singer would make an announcement soon. A spokeswoman could not be reached for comment on the report.
With a penchant for fancy costumes and an ear for piano rockers and ballads that made music history, John has dominated the pop industry for five decades.
Once a hard-partying tearaway with a voracious appetite for cocaine and alcohol, John has achieved a long-lasting fame among British acts matched only by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie.
Raised in a modest family, he started playing the piano when he was just three.
A magazine advert in 1967 put him in touch with English lyricist Bernie Taupin and together they wrote some of the best-loved songs of all time – transforming shy Reg Dwight of suburban north London into global star Elton John.
Mixing ballads like “Candle in the Wind”, “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” with pounding rockers “Crocodile Rock” and “Bennie and the Jets” proved to be a winning formula: he has sold more than 300 million records. With fame came riches, drugs and controversy, though his friends described him as a thoughtful and self-deprecating person at heart.
He serenaded mourners at Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral in Westminster Abbey with a reworked version of “Candle in the Wind” that included the lyrics: “Goodbye England’s rose, may you ever grow in our hearts.” It became one of the best-selling singles in history.
He has campaigned vigorously for gay rights and founded one of the world’s biggest AIDS charities, the Elton John Foundation, raising hundreds of millions of dollars and helping millions of people.