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Neil Diamond Announces Retirement, Crippling Neurological Disease

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In 1991’s “What About Bob?”, Bill Murray’s neurotic character spuriously blames the breakup of his marriage on a curious division of personality types he’s formulated: “There are two types of people in this world,” Murray’s character says. “Those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t. My ex-wife loves him.”

Without attesting to the correctness of that statement, one thing became clear this week: America — and the world — was all with Murray’s ex-wife.

Diamond, the pop music fixture whose career spanned half a century and spawned hits too numerous to mention (including some you likely didn’t even know he wrote) announced his retirement from touring this week, citing medical advice after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.

According to the BBC, the singer — who turns 77 Wednesday — canceled March tour dates for his 50th anniversary tour in New Zealand and Australia.

“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said in a statement. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.”

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“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,” he added, referencing one of his signature hits, “Sweet Caroline.”

His last shows were in the U.K. and Ireland last year, but the statement said that the “onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis.”

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disease that first affects speaking and motor skills before eventually moving on to memory problems and other mental issues.

While Diamond is giving up touring, it won’t be the last you’ll see of the “Solitary Man” singer. “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” Diamond said in his statement.

Will you miss Neil Diamond being out on tour?

Diamond has sold over 130 million albums from 32 studio albums, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. His most recent, “Melody Road” in 2014, entered both the U.S. and the U.K. charts in the top five — not bad for a man who started his career in the Brill Building songwriting factory almost a half-century prior.

In fact, some of his biggest hits have been songs that Diamond didn’t even sing. Two of the Monkees’ biggest hits — “I’m a Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” — were both written by Diamond.

And, while Diamond was long scoffed at by modern rock music critics, his image has mostly been rehabilitated — partially by appearances at venues like the ultra-hip Glastonbury Music Festival in 2008, but also because of an oeuvre of work that spans generations and styles. On any given day, you could hear Diamond’s work covered by “Glee” or bands like Urge Overkill, used in movies like “Shrek” or “Pulp Fiction,” or sung en masse by crowds at a Red Sox game.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAo_kM_z_38

It’s a bit early to write Diamond’s obituary, of course, and one hopes that he has many miles left to run in the studio. As he retires from touring, we can only wish him the best, wish we had seen him live and say that our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Make no mistake: today, we all love you.

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Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter if your thoughts and prayers are with Diamond, too.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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