Paul Simon has said it is “a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief” to announce his retirement from touring, playing his last show in London’s Hyde Park.
The singer, 76, said the travel and time away from his wife detracts from the joy of playing and he is bringing his performing career to a natural end.
He is due to play a show billed as The Farewell Performance in London’s Hyde Park on July 15 at Barclaycard British Summer Time.
The show will conclude Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour, in which he will travel North America, the UK and Europe.
In a statement on Twitter he wrote: “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.
“Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief.
“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. Sadly, we lost out lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years, Vincent N’guini, who died last December.
“His loss is not the only reason I’ve decided to stop touring, but it is a contributing factor.
“Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing.
“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.
“After this coming tour, I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall, and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organisations, particularly those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically.
“Once again, 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.”
The statement was signed by Simon and dated February 5 in New York City.
He will kick off the tour on May 15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, and will reach Manchester on July 10, Glasgow on July 11, Dublin on July 13 and London’s Hyde Park on July 15.
Tickets for Manchester and Glasgow go on sale on February 9, with Dublin going on sale on February 12.
Simon has had 13 studio albums as a soloist, as well as five as half of Simon & Garfunkel, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Tickets for the London date are on sale now.