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As Rolling Stone reported in 2014, plenty of artists have said they're retiring from touring, taken off on a farewell jaunt around the world, then suddenly decided they miss the road. Cue the lucrative comeback shows!

For that reason, take the following list with a pinch of salt. And it's only touring that we're talking about here, not retiring from music completely. As we'll find out, many plan to still release music, and possibly even play the odd, one-off gig...

Paul Simon

[WATCH] BBC Two - Paul Simon : Graceland (Later... Archive 2006)

Paul Simon played a triumphant last European show in Hyde Park on 15 July, having announced in February that he was to stop touring. "I've wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I'd consider bringing my performing career to a natural end," he wrote on his website. "Now I know." Simon, 76, still has 11 US dates scheduled for September - culminating in his home city of New York - and he's stated that he might do "the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall", with proceeds going to charity. But the big world tours - they're over.


[Warning: Video contains flashing images]

It's time to collect my pension. This is a career move

"The end of days is near," declared thrash metal legends Slayer in a video announcing their "exit" from touring. "It's time to collect my pension," bassist/singer Tom Araya deadpanned to Loudwire (via Blabbermouth). "This is a career move... I'm grateful that we've been around for 35 years. When we started off, everything was great, because you're young and invincible. And then there came a time where I became a family man, and I had a tough time flying back and forth." Their farewell tour has already started, and it's not ending any time soon. Dates are scheduled for 2019, and there are even rumours of a last 'Big Four' show, Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

It's time to collect my pension. This is a career move

Ozzy Osbourne

[LISTEN] BBC Radio 2 - Ozzy talks about Motörhead's Lemmy

I just need to slow it down a little. I enjoy being a grandfather

On an equally bodacious tip, Ozzy Osbourne is also calling time on world tours, and not for the first time. In 1992, he embarked on his No More Tours Tour and then changed his mind about being on the road, but this time he says he's certain. The tour is, of course, called No More Tours 2 but Ozzy's adamant that he's not retiring from music completely. He told Rolling Stone: "I'm just not doing world tours anymore. I'm still going to be doing gigs, but I'm not going on tour for six months at a time anymore... I just need to slow it down a little. I enjoy being a grandfather. I don't want to go through another generation of Osbournes without seeing them grow up."

I just need to slow it down a little. I enjoy being a grandfather

Elton John

[LISTEN] BBC Radio 2 - Elton talks to Ken Bruce in 2016 about choosing family over touring

I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, B.B. King - on the road forever

"I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, B.B. King - on the road forever," said Elton John in January when he announced a whopping, three-year, 300-date final tour - Farewell Yellow Brick Road - which begins in Pennsylvania in September. "My priorities have changed. We had children and it changed our lives. That doesn't mean to say I'm not going to be creative. But I'm not going to travel." Which means Elton has also left the stage door ajar. He might, he added, consider a residency in a single city, and he still intends to write. "I'm not stopping music. I'll hopefully be making more records. I'll be writing more musicals. But mostly, I'll be taking my kid to soccer academy - which is the most important thing."

I always thought I was going to be like Ray Charles, B.B. King - on the road forever

Joan Baez

[LISTEN] BBC 6 Music - Joan Baez speaks to Mary Anne Hobbs about Whistle Down the Wind

Paul Simon first started playing music in 1956, with Art Garfunkel as Tom & Jerry. Folk singer Joan Baez's epic career started soon after in 1959, and she released her first album a year later. Now 77, she's earned the right to stop touring, but it seems she's not quite done with the road just yet. On 18 July Baez announced she was extending her farewell tour - set to begin September - into 2019 with a string of new North American dates, and perhaps there will be some European ones, too. In March, she released her first album in 10 years, Whistle Down the Wind, and told Rolling Stone that we might be lucky enough to have further albums: "I've left that more open than the touring because you just can't… you never know. Maybe you'll say, 'Oh, my God,' and you'll want to do an album in other languages or some special project."

Soft Cell

With Soft Cell I always felt something was unfinished

Not a final tour, but a reformation and a goodbye, all in a single night at London's O2 on 30 September, not unlike Led Zeppelin in 2007. It's been 15 years since Soft Cell - Marc Almond and Dave Ball - played a gig, and their one-show is named after their 1982 single Say Hello, Wave Goodbye. But why now? "With Soft Cell I always felt something was unfinished," Almond said when the show was announced in February. "This last ever final show will be the best-ever ending. It will be a real statement and sendoff, and thank you to every fan."

With Soft Cell I always felt something was unfinished

Anita Baker

It seemed like we were never going to get the chance to see Anita Baker perform again when she tweeted in January 2017: "Lotta rumours out there. No Tour. No CD." The CD bit has proved to be true - the eight-time Grammy winner last released an album in 2005 - but Baker has been touring in 2018, and there are a few dates left in the US over the next few weeks. Announcing the shows in January this year, Baker called it a "farewell tour", but who knows - she first took time off in the 1980s, at the height of her fame, and she's proved to be an enormous influence on the current crop of RnB stars including Beyoncé, which has helped her find new audiences.

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