Sir Elton John has this week announced the final date on his Yellow Brick Road farewell tour at The O2 in London in December 2020.
It’s set to bring his remarkable touring career to its conclusion. But manager and husband David Furnish has told Music Week that Sir Elton will never give up on music or performing.
“He’s definitely stopping touring, I think he will perform in a much more limited capacity,” said Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment. “Maybe a small series of shows in London every couple of years, maybe a small residency in Vegas is a possibility. He wants to spend time with his family, that’s the most important thing.
“Does he want to stop working? Absolutely not. Elton is a workhorse, he’s passionate and vital and loves what he does. He must never stop creating and he must never stop performing, at least in a very limited capacity. But he doesn’t want to travel around the world and be away from his family any more. He finds that excruciating now. That side of his life will end.”
Before that point, though, the music icon is enjoying one of the busiest and most high-profile phases of his career. As well as the successful Rocketman movie biopic, which has just been released on DVD, there’s been an accompanying soundtrack, streaming success with the Diamonds hit collection and an autobiography, Me, out later this month. BBC One will air an exclusive interview special.
Diamonds has 423,258 sales to date, according to the Official Charts Company. For the year to date, Diamonds is the 18th biggest-selling album even though it was released in late 2017. Elton John has amassed 18,767,461 monthly Spotify listeners.
Does Elton want to stop working? Absolutely not, he’s passionate and vital and loves what he does
After the collection was released, Sir Elton signed an all-encompassing deal with Universal Music Group for the remainder of his career.
“With an artist like Elton, and 31 recorded albums, it’s a vast catalogue with a big presence and available to anyone who’s accessing streaming,” said Furnish. “[Universal] have really stepped up and they’ve been wonderful partners. Diamonds has settled in and is continually selling a really nice level of units every week.
“We have the film, then he has his memoirs [October 15] and it all takes place in the middle of this giant global tour. You need a quality offering that reflects and celebrates everything that Elton has done. Diamonds has just landed exactly where we want.”
The Rocketman soundtrack (Virgin EMI), featuring covers by the film’s star Taron Egerton, has not made the impact of other soundtrack releases such as The Greatest Showman or Bohemian Rhapsody, which featured original Queen recordings. Rocketman has sales to date of 44,286 (OCC).
“Taron never gave less than 100%, his performance in the film is extraordinary because he doesn’t mimic Elton, he becomes Elton on a molecular level,” said Furnish.
Furnish added that new Elton John material will be coming at some point.
“I would expect more new music, we’ve written some songs for the stage musical The Devil Wears Prada, which we’re co-producing,” said Furnish. “We have another musical theatre project that we’re developing right now.”
The Devil Wears Prada has its pre-Broadway launch in Chicago next summer.
As well as his own music, John will remain committed to his role in as a tastemaker who supports new artists.
“He’s always listening to new music, he loves doing his radio show [Beats 1's Rocket Hour] for Apple Music,” said Furnish. “He never rests or sits still, he’s always looks forward. Long that may continue.”