Neil Diamond: “This ride has been so good, so good, so good thanks to you.”

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The famous singer and song-writer Neil Diamond announced retirement from touring. This announcement along with the news that he has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

“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 is a disease that mainly effects the nervous system. It can lead to shaking, rigidity, speech changes and eventually dementia (memory problem).

Even with this condition he said he would keep on writing and recording songs.

In March, Neil Diamond, planned to perform in Australia and New Zealand. He apologised to fans there on cancelling the shows. The tickets will be refunded. He said, “My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”

The singer last performed in UK and Ireland and was midway on 50th anniversary tour. In a statement he said, “I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years,”.

Diamond is out to turn 77 later this week and Recording Academy plans to honour him with lifetime achievement awards.

He released his first record, “The Feel of Neil Diamond” in 1966. During each of the next eight years, he released at least one album, sometimes two. Diamonds most successful hits include “Sweet Caroline” and “Crackling Rosie”.

He was nominated for 13 Grammy Awards and was succeeded in winning one. He is one of the world’s most popular recording artists, having sold more than 130 million records. At least 53 of his songs have landed on the Billboard Top 100 chart, and 55 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

 “My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement,” Diamond said in the statement. “This ride has been so good, so good, so good thanks to you.”