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Sound of Silence: Paul Simon to Quit Music

Legendary folk-rock singer Paul Simon says, after making music for more than 60 years, he’s ready to “let go” of the limelight and “see what happens.”

“Showbiz doesn’t hold any interest for me,” Simon told the New York Times in a recent interview.

The Still Crazy After All These Years singer has been making music since he was 13 years old but now says he has the “courage” to walk away from an accomplished musical career.

“It’s an act of courage to let go,” Simon said. “I am going to see what happens if I let go. Then I’m going to see, who am I? Or am I just this person that was defined by what I did? And if that’s gone, if you have to make up yourself, who are you?”

The 74-year-old singer started his music career as one-half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel.

The 12-time Grammy winner became a major commercial success with the August 1986 release of his most successful solo album, Graceland, which sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.

Simon released his 11th studio album, Stranger to Stranger, this spring to the reception of glowing reviews.

Simon was the composer or actor on over a dozen film credits. He once starred as an aging rocker in the 1980 film One-Trick Pony. 

In 2007, Simon became the first recipient of the Library of Congress’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The singer said fame humbled him, but he’s also seen the sordid side of celebrity.

“I’ve seen fame turn into absolute poison when I was a kid in the ’60s,” Simon said. “It killed Presley. It killed Lennon. It killed Michael Jackson. I’ve never known anyone to have gotten an enormous amount of fame who wasn’t, at a minimum, confused by it and had a very hard time making decisions.”

Simon is set to kick off a European tour this fall.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.

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