From his first hit in 1966 “Cherry, Cherry” to mega hits like “Sweet Caroline”, “Song Sung Blue” and “Longfellow Serenade”, Neil Diamond has been delighting audiences on radio and in person for decades. However, that is now ending.
Diamond, who was set to perform across Australia and New Zealand in March and April 2018 as part of his 50th anniversary tour, has cancelled all his dates on doctor’s advice due after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. A number of famous people suffer from these condition that often leads to long-term care and help with normal living activities. Linda Ronstadt, Muhammad Ali, Michael J. Fox and former US Attorney General Janet Reno are among those who are known for suffering from the condition.
In a statement published on Diamond’s website they announced, “Legendary singer, songwriter and performer Neil Diamond today announced his retirement from touring due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.”
Diamond said, “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said.
“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.
“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. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
The announcement brought several comments on social media. Barry Manilow tweeted, “So, so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!” Brian Wilson tweeted, “I’m sorry to hear about Neil Diamond’s Parkinson’s diagnosis. Neil, I wish you all the best, buddy.”
Parkinson’s a long-term degenerative disorder characterized by shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and other symptoms. Living a normal life with the disease is a challenge for the millions afflicted by the disorder.