Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from touring due to his recent Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
The legendary singer, who turns 77 on Wednesday, shared the sad news via a press release on his official website on Monday.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," he said in the statement. "I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years."
Based on his doctor’s advice, the celebrated songwriter chose to cancel the third leg of his 50th Anniversary tour, which was scheduled to hit Australia and New Zealand in March. While the onset of the disease has made it challenging to travel and perform on a large scale, Diamond hopes to continue songwriting and recording.
“My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows,” he said, adding that he plans “to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
The “Sweet Caroline” singer also thanked his fans for their “support and encouragement” over the years.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he stated. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
Upon hearing the news, fellow crooner Barry Manilow shared his well wishes for his fellow iconic singer and fellow native New Yorker.
“So, so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness,” Manilow tweeted. “I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!”
The Recording Academy will honor Diamond with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 28, airing on CBS at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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