Neil Diamond, known for hits such as “Cracklin’ Rose,” “Song Sung Blue” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” is retiring from performing after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
The singer said in a statement: “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honoured 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.”
According to his website, the disease has “made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.” However, Diamond promises fans he will keep writing and recording music as well as work on new projects.
Doctors advised the star to cancel the third leg of his 50th-anniversary tour, which was scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand in March. Diamond revealed the news on Monday, two days before his 77th birthday.
Diamond is also known for the songs “Sweet Caroline,” “I Am, I Said,” “Heartlight,” “Cherry, Cherry,” “America” and “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.” He also wrote The Monkees hit “I’m a Believer” and UB40’s “Red Red Wine.”
It was recently announced that he would receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award later this month. He’s a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He also received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011.
Diamond concluded his statement by referencing “Sweet Caroline:” “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.”
Fellow crooner Barry Manilow wrote on Twitter: “So, so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you, Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!”
Diamond is one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. He’s had 10 number-one singles and 38 songs on the Top 10 Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.