Neil Diamond has not only cancelled the next leg of his 50th anniversary tour, he will retire from touring.
The beloved 76-year-old singer — one of pop music’s best-selling artists of all-time, with dozens of gold and platinum records under his belt — announced on Monday that he had received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Per his doctor’s advice, he has cancelled dates in Australia and New Zealand in March, which were part of the tour he brought across the U.S. and Europe last year. According to a press release, the disease has impeded his ability to travel and perform, though he vowed to “remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
“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.” My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
“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,” he continued, referencing his 1969 hit “‘Sweet Caroline.”
“I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring,” said Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty in the statement. I have had the honor 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.”
Diamond has been nominated for 13 Grammys, winning once. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Next week at the Grammys, Diamond will join Queen and Tina Turner in being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has landed 56 singles in Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart, and his impressive stable of hit songs includes “Cracklin’ Rose,” “Song Song Blue,” “Love on the Rocks,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” and “Heartlight.”