Paul Simon is to retire from music after six decades in the spotlight, the singer has announced. The 74-year-old said showbiz "no longer holds any interest for me," as he prepares to bow out after his European tour.

The celebrated musician said he is "coming towards the end" of his career as he finds performing increasingly arduous, given his advancing years.

He told The New York Times he now wanted to rediscover himself outside of music. "Showbiz doesn't hold any interest for me," he explained. "None. It's an act of courage to let go. I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I'm going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that's gone, if you have to make up yourself, who are you? ... I don't have any fear of it."

The Graceland performer, who began singing at 13, and later forged a legendary musical partnership with Art Garfunkel said that while he has achieved success as a songwriter, the experience of fame has been bewildering.

"I've seen fame turn into absolute poison when I was a kid in the '60s," he said. "It killed Presley. It killed Lennon. It killed Michael Jackson. I've never known anyone to have gotten an enormous amount of fame who wasn't, at a minimum, confused by it and had a very hard time making decisions."

Simon's North American tour brings him full circle, concluding in Forest Hills, Queens where he grew up and first met Garfunkel when they were both teenagers. Their partnership spawned timeless hits including Bridge Over Troubled Water, Mrs Robinson and The Sound of Silence. However the duo became estranged, prompting Simon to go solo in 1970.

In 1986 he released the seminal album Graceland, which shone a spotlight on the anti-apartheid movement, winning him a Grammy for Album of The Year. He is a member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame and an inductee in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

However, his life has not been without controversy. In 2014, Paul Simon and his wife Edie Brickell were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct after an incident in Connecticut. Brickell is Simon's third wife. The singer was previously married to Stars War actress Carrie Fisher.

Paul's European tour will showcase his new album Stranger To Stranger, which was Number one on the Billboard charts Mail Online reports.