NEWS: Neil Diamond Announces Parkinson’s Diagnosis, Immediate Retirement
Neil Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the singer revealed on his website Monday. The legendary musician will be retiring, and has canceled the third leg of this 50th Anniversary tour.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years,” said Diamond in a statement, apologizing to those who had purchased tickets to upcoming shows.
The tour was set to extend to Australia and New Zealand this March, but the musician’s website stated that “the onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.” Tickets purchased will be refunded.
Diamond will turn 77 on Wednesday, and the Recording Academy will honor him with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Sunday.
Fans got to see him perform last month on Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square.
Diamond’s 50th Anniversary tour launched last April and carried on for over 50 dates across the U.S. and Europe. Diamond took just a month off between the two tour legs, and wrapped on Oct. 19 in London.
At a tour stop in Nashville last April, the singer’s famous baritone was a “little grittier” wrote The Tennessean, “but at points, it was hard to tell a difference between the voice echoing through Bridgestone Arena and the one put to tape in the ’70s.”
“I spent eight years trying to get my music heard,” Diamond said on stage at the time, recalling his start on Tin Pan Alley in New York City. “And when I finally got it heard, a whole world opened up.”
On Monday, Diamond said he plans “to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
He closed his statement by thanking his fans.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he said. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement.” And with a nod to his famous song Sweet Caroline, he added, “This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”