In a move which separates him from Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and other members of the rock clergy, Elton John has reportedly said he will call it quits in order to spend time with family.
With almost 300 million records sold, and five Grammys, an Oscar, 11 Ivor Novellos and 3,000 gigs under his belt, the singer has told friends he is ready to retire next year, potentially around his milestone 70th birthday in March. The singer is also wanting to spend more time on the Elton John Aids Foundation, which has raised over £275million to tackle HIV / Aids.
His 32nd album, Wonderful Crazy Night, was released in February to favourable reviews and hit number 6 in the UK chart but – amid a transient sales market – did not sell as well as perennial classic Goodbye Yellow brick Road which shifted 30 million copies worldwide.
Addressing dwindling sales on Good Morning Britain, Sir Elton spoke of passing the candle to a younger generation: "I love playing [but] my records don't sell anymore because people have enough Elton John records in their collection. I love making them, but it's someone else's turn now."
The Candle in the Wind singer, born Reginald Dwight, married David Furnish two years ago and they have two children.
Sir Elton and Furnish introduced second son Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John on January 11, 2013. The baby weighed 8lb 4oz and, like his elder brother, two-year-old toddler Zachary, Elijah was born to the same California-based surrogate mother – whom the couple said they love 'like a sister'.
Sir Elton stars alongside Halle Berry and Julianne Moore in spy comedy sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, which will be released in 2017.