Neil Diamond, 76, reveals he has Parkinson's disease and retires from touring but vows to keep on recording 'for a long time to come'
Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer offered his 'sincerest apologies' to those who planned to go to his shows and says he plans to still write, record and work on other projects 'for a long time to come.'
Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after he says he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (File photo February 11, 2017)
Diamond's numerous hits include Sweet Caroline, America, Love on the Rocks and Hello Again.
Days shy of his 77th birthday, the rock legend is canceling his tour dates in Australia and New Zealand for March. He was on his 50th anniversary tour. (pictured in 1975)
Diamond turns 77 on Wednesday and will get the lifetime achievement award at Sunday's Grammy awards.
Diamond went on to describe his feelings regarding his stepping down from touring: 'I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.'
'It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring.'
'My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,' he continued.
'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 in reference to his 1969 hit Sweet Caroline.
The songwriter's most recent album was released in 2016, Melody Road, around Christmas of that year.
While at an age when most artists rely on their extensive back catalog, Diamond continued to challenge himself in the studio, and appears to be committed to still writing and recording, health permitting.
Diamond has sold well over 125 million records over his 50 year career and is in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The hitmaker was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1941 and previously described his upbringing, with a father in the Army, as 'poor'.
He got his first guitar at age 16 for his birthday. However, he did not pursue music immediately.
It was only after attending New York University as a pre-med student, on a fencing scholarship, that he discovered his true calling.
Finding himself bored in class he began cutting school to write music and less than a semester shy of graduating he dropped out of college for a songwriting gig at Sunbeam Music Publishing for $50 a week.
Diamond seen performing on NBC's Today show in New York in 2014
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