WASHINGTON – American singer Neil Diamond said on Monday he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and would retire from touring on doctors’ advice.
Diamond – who will turn 77 on Wednesday – canceled his March concerts in Australia and New Zealand, the last stops on the tour to celebrate his 50th Anniversary as a musician.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” the singer said in a statement.
However, the singer will “continue his writing, recording and development of new projects,” the statement added.
Diamond, one the best selling artists of all time, was included in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
He is also set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming Grammy awards on Sunday.
In a career spanning 50 years, Diamonds wrote and sang dozens of songs, which topped the charts, including “Cracklin’ Rose,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” “If You Know What I Mean,” and “Desiree.”
Thirty-eight of his songs have appeared in the top 10 on the Billboard magazine’s Adult Contemporary charts.