Legendary singer Neil Diamond announced Monday night that he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and will retire from touring.
Diamond posted the announcement on his website. It means that his planned tours of Australia and New Zealand have been cancelled, based on doctor's advice.
However, Diamond's team said he still plans to continue writing, recording and "development of new projects."
"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," the 76-year-old Diamond said. "My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows."
He continued, "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."
The "Sweet Caroline" singer brought his 50th anniversary tour in Europe and the U.S. last year. The New Zealand and Australia tour was supposed to take Diamond to outdoor stadiums in the two countries.
"I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil's illness and his retirement from touring," Paul Dainty, president and CEO of TEG Dainty, which promoted the cancelled shows, said. "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."
Diamond will turn 77 on Wednesday and is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy at the Grammys Sunday.0comments
Diamond is one of the best-known American singers and songwriters alive thanks to an unparalleled resume. His No. 1 hits include "Cracklin' Rosie," "Song Sung Blue," "Yesterday's Songs," "America," "Longfellow Serenade" and "Desiree." In 2016, he released his most recent album, Acoustic Christmas. He also released a career-spanning hits collection called 50th Anniversary Collection in 2017.
Photo credit: Facebook/ Neil Diamond