Neil Diamond has decided to retire from touring after learning that he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“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, 76, said in a statement on Monday, January 22. “My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
Diamond was scheduled to perform at several outdoor stadiums, arenas and winery shows during his Australian and New Zealand tour dates, which have since been canceled. Nevertheless, the “Sweet Caroline” singer plans to still work in some capacity.
“I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” he continued in his statement. “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.”
Following the news, Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty stated: “I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring. I have had the honor 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 next be honored with The Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award on January 28.