John opened the live broadcast by performing "Tiny Dancer" and "I'm Still Standing" by the piano.
Speaking with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, John said that his children with his husband, David Furnish, have changed his priorities and he will no longer be touring.
"My priorities have changed in my life. We have children. I've had an amazing life, an amazing career, but my life has changed. My priorities now are my children and my husband and my family," John said. "I've been touring since I was 17 with various bands. I thought the time was right to say thank you to all of my fans around the world and to say goodbye. That doesn't mean to say I'm not going to be creative, but I'm not going to travel anymore."
John will be beginning a 300-date world tour to say goodbye starting in September. John said discussions about no longer touring began with his family in 2015.
Earlier Wednesday, The Mirror reported that John, 70, would be announcing his retirement from music. The singer has been dogged by health issues in recent years. Most recently, he contracted a rare, deadly bacterial infection while touring South America in 2017. The illness landed him in intensive care and caused him to cancel his Las Vegas shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in April and May. The shows resumed in October.
Related: Elton John cancels shows following release from hospital, thanks fans for support
John said that despite the report, his health is good. “It’ll be the best production I’ve ever done,” John said of his tour. “I want to go out with a big bang.”
Although he will bow out of touring in about three years, John plans to make new albums and write music indefinitely.
“I’ll be creative, hopefully, until the day I die,” he said.
John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will start in Allentown, Pennsylvania. More information on tour dates can be found at EltonJohn.com.