Music legend Elton John announced yesterday in a surprise press conference that he'll retire from touring after a three-year "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour around the world. John, whose career spans more than half a century and over 30 albums, will take one last victory lap in South Florida with a pair of shows at the BB&T Center and American Airlines Arena over Thanksgiving weekend. He'll also play two more Florida shows, in Orlando and Tampa, the week after the holiday and end the tour in Jacksonville in March 2019.
Though John was hospitalized last year after falling gravely ill with a bacterial infection on tour, he insists his impending retirement has nothing to do with his health. "If you’re up to do 300 shows, you’re not in ill health. You’re in great health," he said to press conference moderator Anderson Cooper. "Listen, last year I picked up an infection in America and I was very ill for seven weeks and it knocked me sideways, but I still did 96 shows last year.”
Instead, John, 70, says he's retiring to spend more time at home with his husband David Furnish and their two sons. "David and I sat down with a school schedule, and I thought, I don’t want to miss too much of this... When I stop, they’re going to be 10 and 8, and that’s a very important time of their lives... I don’t want to miss them and I don’t want them to miss me.”
Elton John's announcement comes just days after singer-songwriter Neil Diamond announced his immediate retirement following a Parkinson's diagnosis, and in October classic rocker Tom Petty died suddenly of cardiac arrest just one week after wrapping his 40th-anniversary tour with his band the Heartbreakers. Petty had planned to slow down after the tour to spend more time with his family.
The original Rocketman isn't hanging up his glittered suits entirely, though. John says he plans to continue making albums and writing musicals during retirement, and he doesn't completely rule out short show runs or residencies in the future. But when it comes to extensive tours, this really is it. "I'm not Cher," he said, citing the most famous example of an artist who's hit the road on her farewell tour a few times.
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Tickets for both South Florida shows go on sale to the general public next Friday, February 2, at 10 a.m. American Express, fan club, and venue presales go on sale this morning at 8 a.m. and continue through Thursday, February 1.
Here's the full U.S. tour schedule:
- September 8 - Allentown, PA @ PPL Center
- September 11 & 12 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Wells Fargo Center
- September 15 - Buffalo, NY @ KeyBank Center
- September 16 - University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center
- September 19 - Hartford, CT @ XL Center
- September 21 & 22 - Washington DC @ Capital One Arena
- September 25 & 26 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
- September 28 - Ottawa, ON @ Canadian Tire Centre
- September 29 - Québec City, QC @ Videotron Centre
- October 4 - Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
- October 6 - Boston, MA @ TD Garden
- October 10 - Pittsburgh, PA @ PPG Paints Arena
- October 12 - Detroit, MI @ Little Caesars Arena
- October 15 - Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena
- October 18 & 19 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
- October 23 - Louisville, KY @ KFC Yum! Center
- October 24 - Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena
- October 26 & 27 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
- October 30 - St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
- November 2 - Columbus, OH @ Schottenstein Center
- November 3 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
- November 8 - New York, NY @ Madison Square Garden
- November 23 - Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center
- November 24 - Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena
- November 27 - Orlando, FL @ Amway Center
- November 28 - Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena
- November 30 & December 1 - Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena
- December 4 - Birmingham, AL @ Legacy Arena at The BJCC
- December 6 - New Orleans, LA @ Smoothie King Center
- December 8 & 9 - Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
- December 12 - San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center
- December 14 & 15 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
- January 11, 2019 - Boise, ID @ Taco Bell Arena
- January 12, 2019 - Portland, OR @ Moda Center
- January 15, 2019 - Fresno, CA @ Save Mart Center
- January 16, 2019 - Sacramento, CA @ Golden1 Center
- January 18, 2019 - Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
- January 19, 2019 - San Jose, CA @ SAP Center at San Jose
- January 22 & 23, 2019 - Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center
- January 26, 2019 - Glendale, AZ @ Gila River Arena
- January 29, 2019 - San Diego, CA @ Valley View Casino Center
- February 7, 2019 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
- February 9, 2019 - Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
- February 12, 2019 - Omaha, NE @ CenturyLink Center
- February 13, 2019 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
- February 19, 2019 - Milwaukee, WI @ Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
- February 21, 2019 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
- February 27, 2019 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
- March 1, 2019 - Albany, NY @ Times Union Center
- March 8, 2019 - Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center
- March 12, 2019 - Raleigh, NC @PNC Arena
- March 13, 2019 - Columbia, SC @Colonial Life Arena
- March 15, 2019 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Elton John. 8 p.m. Friday, November 23, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; 954-835-7000; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets cost $55 to $245 via ticketmaster.com.
8 p.m. Saturday, November 24, at AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; aaarena.com. Tickets cost $55 to $245 via ticketmaster.com.