Today, longtime pop hit-maker Neil Diamond announced that he has officially retired from touring after receiving word that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. According to the official statement from Diamond’s camp, “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 cancelled.”

You can read Diamond’s comments on his retirement below:

“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 Neil Diamond.”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.”

In making the announcement, Paul Dainty, President and CEO of promoter 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 honour 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.”

On January 24th, Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday and on January 28th The Recording Academy will honor him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

For information of ticket refunds for the cancelled tour dates, head here.

We wish Neil the best of health and the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

Below, watch Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” at the Boston Red Sox’s iconic home field, Fenway Park, where the song has become immortalized as a team anthem, via the MLB YouTube page:

[h/t – Pollstar]

[Cover photo: MLB YouTube]