Sir Elton John's husband David Furnish hailed him a ''fantastic father'' in a birthday tribute.

The 'Candle in the Wind' hitmaker turned 71 on Sunday (25.03.18) and his 52-year-old spouse - who he married in 2014, nine years after they embarked on a civil partnership - took to Instagram to tell the singer how much he and their two children, Zachary, seven, and Elijah, five, love him.

David wrote on the photosharing site: ''Happy birthday to my amazing husband. Nobody works harder or gives back more than you do.

''You're a fantastic father too! The boys and I love you with all our hearts, and wish you nothing but the best for the coming year!! [sic]''

Elton received a beautiful bouquet of flowers and birthday cards from his children, which he shared on Instagram as well.

One card had 'Love you Daddy' on the front, and the other was a picture of his 'Million Dollar Piano' Las Vegas concert.

He captioned the picture: ''Woke up to these beautiful birthday cards from my beautiful sons #Blessed #HappyBirthday [sic]''

Elton recently revealed he plans to quit touring in 2021 to spend more time at home with his family, and his spouse said it was a ''family decision''.

David said: ''Elton's decision to stop touring was a family decision.

''We sat down about four years ago ... It was a bitter-sweet decision to give up something you love but there is that greater love waiting for him at home. And on a selfish note, I couldn't be happier.''

Elton announced in January that he would embark on a three-year 'Farewell Yellow Brick Road' world tour to mark his retirement, which will see him play over 300 shows across the globe, concluding in 2021.

However, David also explained it isn't the end for Elton as a musician, and confirmed he still has every intention to write new material - including for the stage - and even treat his fans to ''one-off performances''.

He explained: ''He's still going to write music, he's still going to put out albums, he's going to be writing some musicals and he'll still do one-off performances. He should never stop performing, that's just who he is. It keeps him alive, I think.''