Elton John bringing final tour to Prague

The pop star is retiring again, but this time her really means it

Sir Elton John may be hanging up his piano for good. He has announced a three-year world tour called Farewell Yellow Brick Road. He will be coming to Prague’s O2 Arena on May 7, 2019. That is not a typo, it is almost a year and a half away, Tickets go on sale to the Live Nation club Feb. 7 and to the general public Feb. 9 on the Ticketportal network.

The 300-date tour begins in September 2018 in the US and ends in South America in 2021. “It’s time to come off the road so I can fully embrace the next important chapter of my life,” Sir Elton, now 70 years old, said in a press release.

The tour wraps up more than 50 years of touring and a career that has “redefined the cultural landscape and seen him claim his place as a true global icon,” the press release added.

Response to the announcement was so great that Elton John’s official website crashed. “I’m overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to my last ever tour. Unfortunately, so is my website! … Deeply sorry for any inconvenience caused,” Sir Elton said on Twitter.

He has announced his retirement before, but there is much more definite tone this time. “These dates mark Elton’s last-ever tour, the end of half a century on the road for one of pop culture’s most enduring performers. The new stage production will take his fans on a musical and highly visual journey spanning a 50-year career of hits like no one has ever seen before,” the press release said.

In 2015, Elton John had a Final Curtain Tour in North America, announcing he would play less so he could spend more time with his family. The slow down didn’t last long. The Wonderful Crazy Nights tour started in 2016 and still has dates until July 2018. It played in Prague on Nov. 26, 2016. In total there will be 135 shows.

He first announced his retirement in 1977 when he was at the height of his popularity. That also did not last long. In 1979 he was one of the first Western pop stars to go to the Soviet Union.

He began his career in 1963 as a teenager and soon began wearing outlandish costumes as a form of rebellion against his strict parents.

His first six albums including Honky Château and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player were moderately successful, but his 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road solidified his fame worldwide. It sold 30 million copies and is ranked number 91 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2012 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Songs from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road have featured heavily in Sir Elton’s tours, and are likely to do so again, along with entries from his other 29 studio albums.

The hits he tends to play include the ballad “Your Song,” which statistically he has performed the most, followed by “Rocket Man.” His top 10 live songs continue with “Bennie and the Jets,” “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting,” “Tiny Dancer,” “The Bitch Is Back” and “Daniel.”

He tends to build his shows up from some of the slower-paced ballads to a high-energy conclusion of his more hard rocking hits, with a few lesser-known songs or covers added in to make each tour different.

Sit Elton has played in Prague five times, including a show in 1984 at the Palace of Culture, now called the Congress Center. After that, there was a substantial gap before he returned in 2005 to Sazka Arena, now O2 Arena.

Aside from music, Sir Elton has been active in the fight against HIV/AIDS and also for LGBT rights, often making statements during his concerts in countries were such rights are not recognized. He was knighted in 1998 for his charitable work.

Among his accolades, he has won five Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award.

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