Elton John took time during his farewell tour press events to pay thanks to Neil Diamond for giving his career a helping hand.

Diamond also announced his retirement from touring this week, although his came into effect immediately as a result of Parkinson’s disease, while John will travel for three more years before bowing out.

“I would like to pay my respects to him,” John said. “He introduced me off his own back at the Troubadour [in Hollywood] because he loved my record. He was a huge star then, and he’s a huge star now. And I know that he’s said he’s not going to tour anymore because he has Parkinson’s. I’m going to contact to him personally, but I would like to say publicly that I love him and I can’t thank him enough for what he did for me along the way.”

In the New York news conference called to announce the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, John discussed his reasons for retiring. “My priorities have changed in life," he said. "We had children and that changed our lives. ... My priorities now are my family and my husband. I thought the time is right to say thank you to all of my fans and then to say goodbye. That doesn't mean I won't be creative, but I'm not gonna travel anymore.”

Diamond, who, like John, was approaching his 50th anniversary as a touring artist, canceled a tour of Australia and New Zealand after confirming that he, too, planned to continue being creative. In the aftermath of his retirement, fans who received ticket refunds donated the money to good causes, including Parkinson’s research and animal welfare. “This makes me smile,” Diamond tweeted in response. “Thank you. Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of love and support. It makes a difference.” His wife and manager Katie wrote: “Faith in humanity = restored. Thank you!”

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