Neil Diamond, the celebrated songwriter and performer, is known for writing classics such as “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.” After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, Diamond was forced to end his successful concert touring career. In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Diamond spoke openly about accepting his illness.
Initially, Diamond struggled to come to terms with his Parkinson’s diagnosis, and he was in denial for the first year or two after receiving it. He postponed his 50th Anniversary tour in Australia and New Zealand in 2018 due to the challenges caused by Parkinson’s disease. Later, he declared his retirement from concert touring in a press release, stating that he had been honored to bring his shows to the public for the past 50 years.
Diamond admitted that it was “very hard” for him to stop touring, and it took him a long time and a lot of effort to fully embrace his sickness and retirement. However, in the last few weeks, he has finally come to terms with it. He finds himself liking himself better and being easier on people and himself. He believes that the beat will go on long after he is gone.
Despite his retirement from the stage, Diamond still has a lot of devoted followers. A Broadway stage musical called A Beautiful Noise, based on his life, is currently showing. Diamond played “Sweet Caroline” during the curtain call for viewers who came to the debut of that show last year. Additionally, he played “Sweet Caroline” at a Boston Red Sox game in June 2022.
Although Parkinson’s disease is a difficult diagnosis to accept, Diamond has done so, and audiences are still enamored with him. While he can no longer tour, he is still willing to perform on rare occasions.