Neil Diamond Retires From Touring As Result of Parkinson’s Disease
Neil Diamond has announced the immediate end of his touring career as the effects of Parkinson’s disease have begun to take hold. It follows the 76-year-old’s cancellation of part of his 50th anniversary tour last year, when doctors ordered him to rest. However, he’s aiming to continue writing and recording.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said in a statement. “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.”
Noting that “[t]he onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis,” he added: “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. From a total of 32 studio albums he’s earned 11 No. 1 singles – the first was 1970’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” and the latest was 1982’s “Heartlight.” His most recent LP was 2016’s Acoustic Christmas.
In 2014 he told the Telegraph: “The stage hides nothing. It’s a very honest place and over the years I’ve learned to be as open as I can. … [O]n stage I am able to be the biggest fool you’ve ever met. ‘Are you willing to be a fool and sing with me? … Come on, let’s be fools together.’ And that’s what makes for great, sharing experiences.” He admitted he “hated” the songwriting process, which he said didn’t get easier as the years passed, but argued that he couldn’t “find another way to make a living.” He added: “If I was smart, I’d have got through medical school, I’d be a biologist, and I’d have discovered the cure for cancer. I’m better at feeling things than understanding things. Wisdom only comes after many years of pondering. And if I have any wisdom, I put it in a song.”