The former Simon & Garfunkel star has known Wilson since 2007 and has been interested in working with the scientist to raise awareness for environmental and biodiversity issues.

In June (17), the 75-year-old will head out on the road for a 17-city tour and proceeds from the trek will benefit the organisation. Simon explains he was inspired to put his concert retirement on hold and stage the tour by Wilson's book, Half-Earth.

"I said, 'If I do a tour, I can keep singing, I can keep my skills up'," Simon explains. "I can keep my band together. And I can give all the profits to Ed. And that will make me feel that I am making a greater contribution than putting more money in my pocket, which I don't need, or becoming more famous, which I really don't need. So I said, 'OK, I'm going to do that'."

Meanwhile, Simon insists talk of his retirement has been overblown: "I actually said, 'I'm thinking about stopping performing. What would the consequences be?' I didn't mean I intend to (retire)," he tells

"I am beginning to think about the consequences of changing my impulses from always resolving things in a piece of music to producing something else that I don't know about."