Folk rock legend Paul Simon said Monday he will be retiring from the road in July following a two-month final tour after more than half a century as a performer.

The 76-year-old who was one half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel cited the death of his longtime lead guitarist Vincent Nguini in December as one of the reasons for his decision to retire from touring.


"Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing," he said in a message to fans posted on his website.

"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," he said.

Simon has been on a solo career since the 1970 breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, which created hits like "The Sound of Silence" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water."