Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The legendary American singer-songwriter, who turns 77 tomorrow (24 Jan), has cancelled the remaining dates on his 50th anniversary tour on medical advice.
He was midway through the tour, which was due to visit Australia and New Zealand in March.
In a statement he apologised to fans who had bought tickets, adding that he had taken the decision “with great reluctance and disappointment”.
“I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.
“My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.
“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 singer has sold 130 million albums worldwide and released many classic hits, including ‘Sweet Caroline’; and ‘Love On The Rocks’.
He added that he planned to “remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come”.
Friends of the singer were quick to send their best wishes to the star on social media.
“Keep fighting, old buddy. You’ve got a long way to go yet,” tweeted singer Nancy Sinatra.
Musician Josh Groban added:“Endless admiration and love to you.”
Parkinson’s is a progressive condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged. It can lead to difficulty moving, speech changes, involuntary shaking and memory problems.