Neil Diamond announces retirement from concert touring after Parkinson’s diagnosis

NEW YORK – Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from concert touring as he battles Parkinson’s disease.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Australian and New Zealand tour dates have been canceled, according to a statement on his website. He will, however, continue to write, record and pursue new projects.

The retirement announcement was made Monday, Jan. 22 “due to his recent diagnosis.” According to the statement on his website, “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 canceled.

Neil Diamond in London for his first British concert during a tour of Europe in 1971. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

“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,” said Neil Diamond in the statement. ”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 Australia and New Zealand leg of the 50th Anniversary tour 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.

On Wednesday, Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday and on Jan. 28, The Recording Academy will honor him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.