Last week, Paul Simon sent the music world into shock when he announced a farewell gig for London this July. Now after a few days of leaving fans wondering, Simon has released a statement in which he has outlined his future plans.

Following news that both Neil Diamond and Elton John had announced their respective retirements from the world of touring, Paul Simon clearly left quite a few people worried when he announced Homeward Bound: The Farewell Performance, which is scheduled for July.

Accompanied by famed musicians such as James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, many wondered whether this would indeed be his final performance, or if it would be in the same vein as those Simon & Garfunkel “farewell” shows he performed back in 1993.

Taking to Twitter earlier today, Paul Simon released a statement in which he addressed his plans for the future, followed by the announcement of a number of dates for his final US and Europe tour throughout May, June, and July.

“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,” Simon began.

“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,” he continued.

“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.”

“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, particularly those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically.”

“Once again, I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”

So while Paul Simon might not be retiring from music completely, it does sound as though any upcoming performances from the legend may be few and far between, and, if he’s anything like Elton John, may just choose to only hold these sporadic performances in his native United States.

Regardless, the chances of Aussies getting to see Paul Simon on our shores again seem to have now reduced to almost nothing, so if you happen to find yourself heading towards the US or Europe throughout the next few months, maybe stop by to see one of the last performances from a music legend.

Check out Paul Simon’s ‘You Can Call Me Al’: