Elton John pays tribute to Neil Diamond: “I can’t thank him enough”

Both artists have announced this week that they are retiring from touring.

Elton John paid tribute to Neil Diamond earlier today (January 24) during a press conference announcing his last ever tour, the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour’.

Just a day earlier, Diamond revealed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and will no longer be touring. Diamond was scheduled to play shows across Australia and New Zealand in March and April as part of his 50th anniversary tour, but these have been cancelled as a result of his diagnosis.

“I would like to pay my respects to him,” John told reporters today, before recalling a time when Diamond had given his career a boost by introducing him to an influential LA audience.

“He introduced me off his own back at the [iconic Hollywood venue] Troubadour because he loved my record – he was a huge star then, and he’s a huge star now. And I know that he’s said he’s not going to tour any more because he has Parkinson’s. I’m going to contact to him personally, but I would like to say publicly that I love him and I can’t thank him enough for what he did for me along the way.”

Elton announced earlier that he will bow out after a massive three-year world tour beginning in the US this September, meaning his final shows will take place in 2021.

“I’m not Cher,” he said during the announcement, referencing the ‘Believe’ singer’s habit of returning to live work following supposed ‘farewell’ tours. “This is the end.”

The tour’s UK dates will take place in 2019 and 2020, with tickets going on sale in September of this year.

“Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe,” Elton said today. “I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour. After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children.”