Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from touring, revealing that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Diamond was scheduled to play shows across Australia and New Zealand in March and April as part of his 50th anniversary tour, but has now confirmed that the stint has been cancelled as a result of his recent diagnosis.
A statement issued to the singer’s official website says that “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”.
Diamond says of the news: “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honoured 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. 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.”
Diamond’s Australian promoter Paul Dainty has said that he was “devastated and saddened” by the news.
“I have had the honour of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand,” Dainty said. “The 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.”
Neil Diamond’s last studio album, ‘Acoustic Christmas’, was released in 2016.