Elton John responds to retirement rumours: “I’m gradually going to wind down”

The musician says he’s "gearing down" his career to see his family more but adds: "I'm not stopping yet"

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Elton John has revealed he has plans to slowly withdraw from his music career over the coming years, with the 68-year-old singer citing a desire to spend more time with his two sons.

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“I’m gradually going to wind down because I want to see my boys grow up,” he said at the recording of tonight’s Graham Norton Show.

“What’s the point of having children if you don’t spend time with them? At the moment I see a lot of them but I don’t see enough of them so we’re getting to the point, over the next few years, when we’ll be winding down.

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Elton John with husband David Furnish and sons Elijah and Zachary in 2015

“I’ve had so many years on the road and so many concerts but the most important thing in our life are our children and I don’t want to leave them behind. And it’s not as if I’m mid career – I’m like the Gracie Fields of rock!”

Sad news for Elton’s legions of fans – but they needn’t get too upset yet, because Elton also insisted that the day he’ll set aside the sunglasses for good is still a while off.

“I’m gearing down but I’m not stopping yet,” he said. “I’m not quite old enough – but there will be a time when that will happen.”

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The Graham Norton show is on BBC1 tonight (Friday 5th February) at 10.35pm