Legendary musician Neil Diamond announced Monday that he would retire from touring, effective immediately, after recently being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The 76-year-old singer made the announcement in a statement on his website, effectively canceling the Australia and New Zealand dates on his 50th anniversary tour.
“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,” Diamond said in a statement. ”My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he added. “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 statement also said Diamond plans to continue writing, recording, and developing new projects.
Diamond — who is set to receive the the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Sunday — got his start in music in the 1960s and ultimately became one of the best-selling musical acts of all time.
The “Sweet Caroline,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” singer had completed the last leg of his 50th anniversary tour in October of last year, but also performed on live television in December during Fox’s broadcast of New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey.
Diamond has reportedly sold 130 million albums worldwide, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
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