Elton John has admitted his life is ''wonderful'' right now.

The 70-year-old musician recently announced his retirement from live performances, and has insisted that the decision was not made for negative reasons such as ''dwindling record sales'', but rather because he has been enjoying his life as a father to his two sons Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, he said: ''I'm not going to be going anywhere other than England for a long, long time.

''It's not based on health, it's not based on dwindling record sales. I've had the most fantastic, lucky career. I've enjoyed every single minute of playing live.

''There have been dark times, they have been self-induced. And my life is so wonderful now. Ten years ago I wouldn't be sitting here saying this. But now with the boys, it's time.''

Whilst the 'Rocket Man' hitmaker isn't stepping away from touring because of his health, the star did suffer a scare in May last year when he spent time in intensive care after contracting a potentially life-threatening infection on his way back to the UK from Chile.

And Elton admits that the health scare ''reinforced'' his decision to spend as much time with his children as possible.

He added: ''I went to South America, had a wonderful tour with James Taylor, 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.

''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'.''

Elton will bid farewell to touring with an epic three-year 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' world tour, which will see him play over 300 shows across the globe.