Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from touring after revealing he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The Sweet Caroline singer made the announcement on Monday, two days before his 77th birthday, after cancelling the latest leg of his 50th anniversary tour, which was set to begin in New Zealand in March, on doctor’s orders.
A statement from the music icon on his website reads: “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. My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
The statement goes on to explain the onset of Parkinson’s disease has made it “difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Mr. Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects”.
He adds, “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he adds. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. The ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
“So good, so good, so good” is the refrain Diamond’s fans sing to him during Sweet Caroline’s chorus, which has also become a fixture at sporting events.
Diamond last performed at the end of last year and was part of the festivities in New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
His 50th anniversary tour began in April, 2017 with a show in Fresno, California.
The news of his retirement and his diagnosis comes days before he is scheduled to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Grammy’s this weekend.