Paul Simon has announced a 'Farewell Tour' and confirmed he will retire from work as a touring musician this summer.

The 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' singer has had an illustrious career including 18 studio albums - five of which were recorded with fellow musician Art Garfunkel - and 12 Grammy Awards.

In a touching statement, Simon, 76, has revealed he sees the upcoming shows as a ''natural end'' to his time on the road, citing the difficulties of being away from his family as a big part of a his decision.

He said: ''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 our 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.''

The US and Canada leg of the 'Farewell Tour' starts in Vancouver, BC at the Rogers Arena on May 16 before ending on June 20 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

From there, Simon will move onto mainland Europe with a performance at Stockholm's Ericsson Globe, ending that run in Amsterdam on July 7 at the Ziggo Dome.

He will call time on his legendary career with four UK performances - Manchester Arena, Glasgow's SSE Hyrdo, the ROS Arena in Dublin and a headlining slot in at Hyde Park's British Summer Time Festival.

On the final run of shows, he added: ''After this coming tour, I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall, and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organizations, particular those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically.''