Elton John plans to cut back on touring so he can spend more time with his two young children.
The Rocket Man singer and his husband David Furnish are dads to sons Zachary, four, and Elijah, two, but his hectic touring schedule often takes him away from the family home.
On Tuesday (24Nov15), it was announced Elton will headline the Henley Festival in England next July (16), and although the star is delighted at taking the top spot, he admits it will mark a reduction in the number of shows he performs in the future.
“I am thrilled that I will be able to say I have played the beautiful Henley-on-Thames,” he said in a statement issued to Britain’s The Independent newspaper. “The simple truth is I want to spend more time with my family, and I am only too aware of just how precious the time ahead is. My sons are growing up so quickly; their early years are just flying by and I want to be there with them.
“So these concerts will give me the chance to thank the British audiences who have been so faithful to me over these many decades.”
Elton released his first album, Empty Sky, in 1969 and since then, he has gone on to have massive hits around the world, including I’m Still Standing, Sacrifice and Your Song.
Despite playing in some of the most famous venues around the world, the star cannot wait to return to his homeland and perform in the Oxfordshire countryside.
“I remember my first show in Oxford – towards the end of our 1972 tour of the UK with the great Linda Lewis on support – and am so glad to be playing my first show there in 10 years,” he added in his statement.
Elton and David welcomed their sons via surrogate after marrying in December last year (14) and during one of his Las Vegas shows earlier this year (15), the 68-year-old told the audience he felt blessed by all the good things in his life.
“The older I get, and I’m getting old, I’m 68 now for God’s sake, I realise I have the most wonderful partner and husband of 21 years, two beautiful children and incredible friends – I’m very lucky,” he told the audience at Caesars Palace, according to Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper.