Paul Simon, the folk-leaning singer-songwriter who rose to fame as a part of Simon and Garfunkel during the 1960s, announced Monday that he will be retiring from touring, in a statement on his social media account and website. Simon, 76, added that his current "Homeward Bound" tour, starting in May and ending in June, will be his last.
"I've often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I'd consider bringing my performing career to a natural end," Simon said in the statement. "Now I know: It feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief."
He continued, "I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly." He noted that the death of his guitarist and the amount of time touring requires him to be away from his wife and family were key to his decision. "I'd like to leave with a big thank you to the many folks around the world who've come out to watch me play over the last 50 years."
About his possible future on stage, Simon said, "After this coming tour, I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall, and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organizations, particularly those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically."
He signed off with, "I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts."
Previously, Simon had announced a "farewell performance" would take place in London later this year with James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, though it was then unclear whether that would be his final live show or if it was a "farewell" to British audiences. The intention now is clear.
Simon's retirement from the road follows recent similar moves by Elton John, Neil Diamond, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ozzy Osbourne.