Neil Diamond has announced that he is battling Parkinson’s Disease and has canceled his upcoming Down Under tour. Diamond, who’ll turn 77 on Wednesday (January 24th), will be honored on January 28th at The 60th Annual Grammy Awards by the Recording Academy with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The event will be broadcast live on CBS from New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
The official statement posted on NeilDiamond.com reads:
Legendary singer, songwriter and performer Neil Diamond today announced his retirement from touring due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The onset of the 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. Based on his doctors’ advice, the third leg of Diamond’s 50th Anniversary tour, set to land in Australia and New Zealand this March, has been canceled.
Neil Diamond wrote: “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. 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 Australia and New Zealand leg of the 50th Anniversary tour was scheduled to visit a number of outdoor stadiums as well as arena and winery shows in Australia and New Zealand. This would have been the third leg of the 50th Anniversary tour with Diamond selling out shows in the U.S. and Europe throughout 2017.
In making the announcement, Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty stated: “I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring. I have had the honor of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand, he is one of the world’s greatest artists and we and his thousands and thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under.”
Neil Diamond told us that he’s always taken pride in his songwriting but never tries to guess exactly where his songs come from: “I have no idea where they come from. It’s my own experiences, my dreams, my wishes, my regrets. That’s what songs are made of, conversations between people.”