Neil Diamond announced Monday that he would retire from touring after being recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Acting on his doctor’s advice, Diamond immediately canceled the upcoming Australian and New Zealand legs of his 50th Anniversary tour, the singer revealed on his website.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said in a statement. “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.”
Although the Parkinson’s diagnosis ended Diamond’s 50-year career as a live act, the 77-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted singer hopes to continue making music.
“I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” Diamond added. “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,” a nod to his hit “Sweet Caroline.”
In December 2016, Diamond spoke to Rolling Stone about performing to arenas long into his half-century-long career. “It’s been very heartening to me. I’ve been doing this 50 years and to have an audience that’s out there and anxious and enthusiastic is exciting,” Diamond said.
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“As a matter of fact, when I started having hit records you think your career might be one or two or three records. And that’s it. You were finished when one bombed. That’s all the chance you got. Next!”