Neil Diamond has announced he’ll be retiring under doctor’s orders after receiving a devastating diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Today (January 23), no doubt, the Diamonheads – as his army of devoted fans call themselves – will be in mourning as the 76-year-old crooner cancelled tour dates for Australia and New Zealand on the medical advice.
Diamond was midway through his 50th anniversary tour and said he took the decision ‘with great reluctance and disappointment’.
In a statement released yesterday, Neil wrote:
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.
My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.
I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.
Tributes to his sparkling career and kindness have flooded social media:
In making the announcement, Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty stated:
I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring.
I have had the honour of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand, he is one of the world’s greatest artists and we and his thousands and thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under.
The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Mr. Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects, according to his representation.
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition in which the brain becomes damaged. It can lead to tremors, difficulty moving, speech changes and eventually memory problems.
On January 24, Diamond – who was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and has sold over 130 million records worldwide – will celebrate his 77th birthday.
In a fitting tribute for this iconic musician, on January 28, The Recording Academy will honour him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys this weekend.
Many have wished him all the best with his retirement and the road ahead.