Saturday 23 February 2019

Legend Diamond quits touring due to Parkinson's

Neil Diamond is quitting the road after illness diagnosis. Photo: Luke MacGregor
Neil Diamond is quitting the road after illness diagnosis. Photo: Luke MacGregor

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, one of pop music's all-time best-selling artists, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and plans to retire from touring, his official website has said.

The onset of the disease has made it difficult for him to travel and perform on a large scale, a statement read.

It added that he will cancel upcoming concert dates in Australia and New Zealand and offer refunds.

"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," Diamond said in the statement.

"I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years," he added, offering apologies to those who purchased tickets to his upcoming shows.

Diamond, known for hits including Sweet Caroline and Cracklin' Rosie, said he plans to remain active in songwriting and recording.

He is turning 77 today.

On Sunday, the Recording Academy plans to honour him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Diamond has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide and 38 of his singles have made it to the Top 40, according to the academy.

Diamond, a fixture in American pop music since he began recording in the 1960s, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement," Diamond said. "This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good' thanks to you."

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