In an official statement released January 22, singer, songwriter, and performer Neil Diamond announced his recent Parkinson’s disease (PD) diagnosis, as well as his retirement from concert touring. The statement, published on Diamond’s website, indicates that “the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis”. Based on the recommendations of his doctors, Diamond has decided to stop touring, stating, “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years…I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come”. In his announcement, Diamond also added, “My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world… This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good'” (a nod to his hit song “Sweet Caroline”).1
Ending his touring career
Diamond’s announcement occurred during the third leg of his 50th Anniversary tour, leading to the cancellation of all upcoming Australia and New Zealand tour dates. 1 Following the announcement, many fans in both countries have donated their ticket refunds to charitable causes, including Parkinson’s research.2 In tweets by Diamond and his wife Katie, the family thanked these fans for their generosity and support. Following the news, many celebrities also offered their support via social media, including Reba McEntire, Josh Groban, Nancy Sinatra, Brian Wilson, Barry Manilow, Micky Dolenz, and Neil Sedaka.2
Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award
This month, Diamond (77 years old) was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during the 60th Annual Grammys Awards. To date, Diamond has sold over 130 million albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.3 With his announcement, Diamond joins many public figures affected by Parkinson’s, including boxer Muhammad Ali, actor Michael J. Fox, Minister Billy Graham, singer Linda Ronstadt, MLB pitcher Ben Patrick, ‘Peanuts’ creator Charles Schulz, among others.4
In the announcement, Diamond did not share the details of his diagnosis or symptoms. PD affects every patient differently, but is progressive in nature and worsens over time.5 To describe the progression of PD, physicians use five major stages. Patients progress through the stages of PD at different speeds, and symptoms vary greatly from person to person.5 Because PD can be unpredictable, many patients choose to plan ahead for their future needs, including potential home adaptations, financial responsibilities, assistive devices, in-home assistance, long-term care, and end-of-life care.5 To learn more about managing your PD in the long-term, or to ask questions, connect with the PD community today.
Capitol Records. "Neil Diamond Announces Retirement from Concert Touring Australian and New Zealand Tour Dates Cancelled." Neil Diamond, Capitol Records, 22 Jan. 2018, www.neildiamond.com/news/neil-diamond-announces-retirement-concert-touring-australian-new-zealand-tour-dates-cancelled/ Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.
Mizoguchi, Karen. "Neil Diamond Thanks Fans for Making Him 'Smile' by Donating Ticket Refunds to Parkinson's Research." Peoplemusic, People, 23 Jan. 2018, people.com/music/neil-diamond-thanks-fans-donating-ticket-refunds-parkinsons/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.
BBC. "Neil Diamond Retires from Touring after Parkinson's Diagnosis." BBC, 23 Jan. 2018, www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42784305. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.
Ribeiro, Marta. "6 Celebrities Who Lived with Parkinson's Disease." Parkinson's News Today, 12 Sept. 2017, parkinsonsnewstoday.com/2017/09/12/6-celebrities-lived-parkinsons/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.
Downward, Emily. "What Are the Stages of Parkinson's Disease?" ParkinsonsDisease.net, Health Union, Mar. 2017, parkinsonsdisease.net/basics/stages/. Accessed 29 Jan. 2018.