Legendary singer and songwriter Neil Diamond has officially retired from concert touring due to Parkinson's disease. The news was announced yesterday on Diamond's Facebook page, which linked to a lengthy statement on his website.
"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," Diamond begins. "I have been so honored 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."
A quick glance at his Facebook page shows a list of canceled shows in New Zealand and Australia. These shows were part of Diamond's 50th Anniversary tour, which was announced in November of last year. As part of this third leg of the tour, Diamond was scheduled to visit arena and winery shows in the two areas, but his doctors advised he cancel.
According to the statement, Diamond's retirement from touring is due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which has made it difficult for him to travel and perform on a large-scale basis.
While Diamond has ceased touring immediately, his health isn't stopping him completely: "I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come," he assures.
"I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring," president and CEO of TEG, Paul Dainty, said, per Diamond's website. "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."
Fans of Diamond, including celebs, have also spoken out on Twitter to show their support:
Keep fighting, old buddy. You've got a long way to go yet. @NeilDiamond Call the sun in the dead of the night and the sun's gonna rise in the sky.— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) January 23, 2018
#Neil Diamond So,so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) January 23, 2018
For those who purchased tickets to the anniversary tour, no need to worry. Refunds are definitely available. According to Diamond's website, tickets purchased by credit or debit card will be refunded in full (including your ticket insurance premium, if relevant). You don't even need to take any action, as the refund will appear in your account within 10 working days. If you purchased with cash or EFTPOS, Ticketek will reach out to arrange a refund.
"My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world," Diamond said. "You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you."
Be sure to tune into the Grammys on Jan. 28 on CBS, where Diamond will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
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