Elton John announced to a sold-out audience on Friday that his latest album, Songs From the West Coast, is his last. Associated Press reports that John told his Manchester, N.H., audience, "It's the last record I ever make. I'm fed up with it. I like playing to you guys, but I hate the record industry. I've made 40 albums, and it's about time for me to get out."
In other Elton John news, his AIDS foundation is working with MTV and VH1 on a new public service announcement campaign aimed at bringing attention to rising HIV infection rates in the United States, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The first round of the 30-second ads proclaims that "AIDS isn't over" and that "one in five" gay men in the United States is HIV-positive. "The ad campaign is important for two reasons," said Tom Coates, director of the University of California, San Francisco, AIDS Research Institute, who spoke with John at the news conference in Los Angeles, where the ads premiered Saturday. "Number one, because it's being unveiled by Elton John and his foundation. It's important that celebrity leaders maintain their commitment to fighting against HIV/AIDS. Number two, because it focuses on gay men, a group in which we're seeing a rise in new infections and who also represent a substantial part of existing infections." The airtime for the ads was donated by the two networks.