Neil Diamond retires from touring after Parkinson's diagnosis

Diamond cancelled his March tour dates or Australia, and New Zealand on medical advice

Singer Neil Diamond announced he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Diamond, who turns 77 on Wednesday, said he is retiring from concert touring due to his diagnosis. He cancelled his March tour dates or Australia, and New Zealand on medical advice.

The singer was midway through his 50th anniversary tour.

In a statement he said: “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 said in a statement on his website. “My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”

Parkinson’s disease is an incurable progressive nervous system disorder that can cause tremors in the hands and arms, rigid muscles and speech changes such as slurring, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Diamond — who has been nominated for 13 Grammy awards and won one — will be given the coveted Lifetime Achievement Awards at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

He hopes to continue writing and recording for some time to come, a post on his website reads.

"My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world," he said. "You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement."

With a nod to his hit Sweet Caroline, he added: "This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good' thanks to you."

Friends and fans sent their best wishes to the singer on social media as news of his retirement spread.

"Keep fighting, old buddy. You've got a long way to go yet," tweeted singer Nancy Sinatra.

Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild said Diamond was behind "the kindest thing any star ever did for me".


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