Neil Diamond has announced that he will stop touring due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The legendary singer made his announcement to fans via a statement on his website, explaining that the onset of Parkinson’s disease has “made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.”
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Neil wrote to fans.
“I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years…I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
Neil Diamond also apologized to fans who purchased tickets for the remaining dates of his 50th-anniversary tour, which has now been canceled.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” Neil said. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
After news of Neil Diamond’s Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and retirement from touring was announced, many fans took to social media to post reaction. Fellow singers Barry Manilow and Nancy Sinatra were just a few of the fans who expressed sadness over the end of Neil Diamond’s iconic touring career.
Nancy Sinatra has been a Neil Diamond fan for decades. Nancy famously covered Neil’s song “Holly Holy” for her 1971 TV special Movin’ with Nancy on Stage and more recently, she recorded the song on her 2013 album Shifting Gears. In addition, Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond both performed at America’s Independence Day in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 2013.
Keep fighting, old buddy. You've got a long way to go yet. @NeilDiamond ❤️ Call the sun in the dead of the night and the sun's gonna rise in the sky.
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) January 23, 2018
#Neil Diamond So,so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!
— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) January 23, 2018
Other famous fans, including singer Josh Groban, Richard Marx, and Shannon Tweed Simmons, the wife of Kiss rocker Gene Simmons, also posted reaction to Neil Diamond’s sad news. Groban previously told Parade he was drawn to Diamond’s “cool, gravelly voice” as a kid.
“He’s an extraordinary song craftsman, and he’s never been afraid to tap into a more sentimental or romantic approach,” Groban said of Diamond. “In the very cynical world we’re in now, it’s nice to see someone who isn’t afraid to say, ‘This is how I feel, and I’m going to sing it at the top of my lungs.'”
— josh groban (@joshgroban) January 23, 2018
So tragic to hear about the news of #NeilDiamond
I wish I had seen him live. Hot August Night remains one of my favourite live albums.
— David Campbell (@DavidCampbell73) January 23, 2018
— Urge Overkill (@UrgeOverkill) January 23, 2018
Best wishes to @NeilDiamond
— Mrs ShannonTSimmons (@shannonleetweed) January 23, 2018
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) January 23, 2018
Neil Diamond is best known for his hits “Sweet Caroline” (1969), “Cracklin’ Rosie” (1970), “America,” (1980), and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” his 1978 duet with Barbra Streisand and many more. Fans most recently saw Neil perform “Sweet Caroline” during Fox’s New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square, according to People.
Ahead of the first leg of his 50th-anniversary tour last year, Neil Diamond told Billboard he was excited to “dig deep into the vault” and perform some songs that he hadn’t performed in a while.
“I know the audience wants to hear the hits and the familiar songs and we do them, but there are a lot of songs that just miss the cut,” Diamond told Billboard. “So in this tour I’m gonna dig deep into the vault and bring out those songs that haven’t been done in years and try to bring them to the attention of the audience again…I’ve got a lot of songs and a lot of them can be brought out from the trunk and I will do that to the best of my ability.”
The Recording Academy will honor Neil Diamond with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 28, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
You can see Neil Diamond performing one of his biggest songs below.