Elton John Reveals Brush With Death Sparked Retirement

Elton John has admitted that coming close to death last year after a serious bacterial infection influenced his decision to retire from the road.

The 70-year-old icon suffered a nearly-fatal bacterial infection in May after traveling to South America, and was rushed to intensive care.

“I went to South America, had a wonderful tour, came back from Chile, felt bad on the plane, got home on a Tuesday night. I was in intensive care on Thursday and stayed there for two days. I was very, very close to death. I didn’t know that ... and was very fortunate I had great team of doctors” John told The Sun.

“It took me seven weeks to get back to normal after that. I had tubes coming out of every …”

John admitted that the scare was a definitive factor in his decision to wrap up his days on the road, and to “go out with a bang” with his farewell tour. The “Rocket Man” announced his final three-year wold tour, Farewell, Yellow Brick Road, earlier this week.

MORE: Elton John Announces Final World Tour

“That is a wake-up. You think you’re completely solid and nothing is going to stop me — and then something like that, which was extremely unlucky. Things happen for a reason. I thought, ‘We made this decision to come off the road, and this has reinforced it. This is someone telling me that, you know, it is about time’.

“You think about your mortality and think, ‘God, I want to spend more time with the boys.'".

John says he’s looking forward to having more family time with his husband, Canadian-born David Furnish, and their two sons, Elijah, 5, and Zachary, 7.

“When they were small we took them everywhere with us, and then they start school and you can’t take them out of school. I’m happy because by the time I finish the tour the boys will be eight and 10.

“And they’re coming on the tour for part of it. We’re going to take a tutor on the road to probably Australia and the Far East — really interesting places for them to see. So it was an easy decision.”

John can rest easy after his retirement from touring, as he still holds the record for the highest-selling single of all time, with “Candle In The Wind,” which has sold over 33 million copies.

After a highly-successful 50-year career and over 300 million albums sold, John doesn’t plan on putting a halt on his creativity altogether:

“I’ve got one musical written, another I’m just starting. So I’ll still be creative, I’ll still do radio shows, I’ll still probably have my management companies. I just won’t be gallivanting around the world.

“I do a couple of hundred flights a year, normally, and as you get older that takes it out of you. I just miss home and I miss (the boys). I just want to be with those boys.”