The iconic singer Neil Diamond has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it was revealed in a statement on his website on Monday.
The legendary musician, who has millions of fans from all over the world, will be retiring from live performances, and has canceled the third leg of this 50th Anniversary tour, which he was in the middle of.
“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,” said Diamond in a statement, apologizing to those who had purchased tickets to upcoming shows.
The tour has already was set to extend to Australia and New Zealand this March, but the musician’s website stated that “the onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.” Tickets purchased will be refunded.
The tour’s european leg, which took place throughout September and October of 2017, had seen the legendary singer perform at cities such as Zurich, Munich, and Belfast. However, upon hearing the news, Neil Diamond and his management team felt that it was the right moment to call time on his illustrious performing career.
Diamond’s wife and manager, Katie Diamond, tweeted on Tuesday that fans in Australia and New Zealand were donating their ticket refunds to support causes like Parkinson’s research and fire victim funds. Neil Diamond retweeted that message, and wrote “This makes me smile. Thank you. Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of love and support. It makes a difference.”
Diamond will turn 77 on Wednesday, and the Recording Academy will honor him with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Sunday.
Long-time fans of Neil Diamond got a treat on New Years, being to see him perform on Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square.
Diamond’s 50th Anniversary tour launched last April and carried on for over 50 dates across the U.S. and Europe. Diamond took just a month off between the two tour legs, and wrapped on Oct. 19 in London.
At a tour stop in Nashville last April, the singer’s famous baritone was a “little grittier” wrote a local reviewer, “but at points, it was hard to tell a difference between the voice echoing through Bridgestone Arena and the one put to tape in the ’70s.”