NEIL DIAMOND ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM CONCERT TOURING AUSTRALIAN AND
NEW ZEALAND TOUR DATES CANCELLED
JANUARY 22, 2018
Legendary Artist Will Continue To Write, Record & Pursue New Projects
Legendary singer, songwriter and performer Neil Diamond today announced his retirement from touring due to his recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Mr. Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects. Based on his doctors’ advice, the third leg of Diamond’s 50th Anniversary Tour, set to land in Australia and New Zealand this March, has been cancelled.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public
for the past 50 years,” said Neil Diamond. ”My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.
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 Australian and New Zealand leg of the 50th Anniversary Tour (announced by TEG DAINTY in November, 2017) was scheduled to visit a number of outdoor stadiums as well as arena and winery shows in Australia and New Zealand. This would have been the third leg of the 50th Anniversary tour with Diamond selling out shows in the U.S. and Europe throughout 2017.
In making the announcement, 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 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.”
On January 24th, Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday and on January 28th, The Recording Academy will honour him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
NB: Neil is also godfather to one of Paul's children.
December 31, 2017... New Years Eve, Times Square, New York, Neil Diamond regales the crowd with his mega hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ to celebrate and usher in the New Year.
The temperature is below freezing (-1°F or -17°C), and Neil is clad head to toe in protective winter clothing. As the performance unfolds the camera pans around the large crowd, excited, and singing along in that usual way that this particular song elicits, the camera zooms in on Neil Diamond, and captures a most noticeable shaking of his microphone hand, in that instant one could be forgiven for putting it down to the freezing cold, and pay no further mind to it, as what else would anyone expect.
Fast forward three weeks, 22 January 2018, where Neil Diamond delivers a statement that would reverberate through the entertainment world, and the music industry in particular.
With immediate effect Neil Diamond announced his retirement from “Live Concert Touring” due to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Neil cancelled the remainder of his future 50th Anniversary Tour schedule, where he was due to visit Australia and New Zealand throughout March and April of this year, bringing the curtain down on the performing career of one of music’s most beloved, enduring, and iconic stars.
Fans worldwide were quick to send messages of support to Neil via social media, and Neil Diamond’s website and Twitter pages, many who had purchased tickets for his Australian and New Zealand shows donated their refunds to Parkinson’s research, there was, and still is a great outpouring of love for Neil. Many hoping that this would be only a temporary sabbatical, alas not, Neil Diamond himself knew this was it, but assured fans that it was far from the end, where he would still spend time writing and recording for as long as he is able, which could suggest “new” music is on the horizon, giving his fans something to look forward to.
As we contemplate what this means for Neil, we should take time to look back and revisit some of Neil Diamond’s greatest “Live Performances” and rather than believe this is the end, we should celebrate what he has given us, and what is possibly still to come. - Dave Radstock