Neil Diamond has been named this year’s recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the 49th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony and gala in New York City on June 14.
The music icon, 77, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, will be given the award, which is the organization’s highest honor and is reserved for a songwriter or songwriting team who has already been inducted in a prior year.
Diamond — whose long list of hits include “I’m a Believer” (1967), “Red Red Wine” (1967), “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)” (1969) and “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970) — joins an exclusive club of former honorees including Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel and Paul Simon among others.
The Johnny Mercer Award is Diamond’s latest accolade in his decorated career, joining his 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, 2011 Kennedy Center honor and his Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy this year.
His award comes months after Diamond announced his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Due to doctor’s orders, the third leg of his 50th-anniversary tour was canceled, including the Australia and New Zealand dates that were scheduled for March.
“I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come. My thanks go 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 said in a statement at the time.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder with no cure. Symptoms include tremors, stiffness and difficulty balancing, walking and coordinating movement.