By: Joe Amodio
Legendary singer and songwriter Neil Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, forcing him to retire from touring all together.
The announcement comes midway through his 50th anniversary tour, which was set to resume in March. He last performed in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the tour.
Through his years performing and writing music, Diamond has gained recognition from music fans as a versatile artist in genres ranging from pop to folk music.
The 76-year-old, who is most well-known for the all too catchy hit song, Sweet Caroline released a statement two days before his birthday on his official website on Jan. 22.
“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,” Diamond said.
Diamond also offered his apologies to fans who had plans of seeing him live.
“My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows,” he said.
Fans who purchased tickets will have the option of a full refund.
Diamond also extended his gratitude to his supporters and in doing so referred to one of his many hit songs.
“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.
But the legendary singer, songwriter isn’t putting down the guitar just yet. He added in his statement that he plans to be active in writing, recording and other projects “for a long time to come”.
Celebrities flooded twitter with support for the star with over 130 million albums sold worldwide.
#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
The kindest thing any star ever did for me was at the beginning of my career at @RollingStone. @NeilDiamond invited my mom who loved him backstage and treated her like a Queen. She kept this photo on her bedside table for the rest of her life. God Bless #NeilDiamond. pic.twitter.com/4IfTnwaFlN
— David Wild (@Wildaboutmusic) January 23, 2018
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
Diamond will also receive a lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
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