His father, Richard, is a longtime collaborator of Diamond’s in the studio and onstage throughout the ’70s. An insider said: “Neil may have stepped away from the stage but he still has such a creative spirit and drive. Parkinson’s disease put a stop to the vibrant and tireless performer. on the 'Settling Down' Video, Widowed Mom of 4 Gives Back to Nonprofit That Helped Her Family Before Husband's Death, Common on the 'Extremely Significant' Election, What He Learned on the Campaign Trail & Why He Backs Biden, See All the Celebs Taking RV Trips This Summer, The Sweetest Photos of Princes Harry with Diana, From Empty Streets to Virtual Weddings: What Life Has Looked Like During the Coronavirus Pandemic. “Well, I’m doing pretty well. EXCLUSIVE: Defiant Neil Diamond will duet with Stevie Wonder despite retiring from touring in 2018 due to Parkinson's disease. But now the musician is back in the studio and aims to release some new material in time for Christmas. “I’m glad to still be around. “My parents would meet and fall in love during Neil’s first tour of Australia, so I grew up with Neil’s songs in my blood,” he says. 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He performed 10 shows at the venue that month. “I’m feeling better every day, dealing with it as best as I can and keeping music coming.”. “When I look back at the 50th anniversary tour, Neil absolutely wound up on top. For more on Neil Diamond’s last tour and his brave fight against Parkinson’s disease, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE — on newsstands Friday. After years of dreaming, he got to live his childhood dream of hitting the road with his two idols — his father and Diamond — on the 50th anniversary excursion. The two-hour-plus performance featuring 33 songs celebrated the 40th anniversary of his original “Hot August Night” live album, also recorded at the Greek in August 1972. “Well, I’m doing pretty well. Many of the members, including the Waters’ sisters, have been with him for nearly four decades. I’m active. The new tracks will be the first Neil has released since 2016’s Acoustic Christmas album. “It speaks volumes that he still has the desire to make music at his age – and with his medical condition. As a child, he recalls collecting dislodged sequins from the singer’s flamboyant stage costumes after each show. Before each show, the man affectionately known as “Number One” insists on telling jokes to ensure everyone hits the stage with a smile. “Even though nobody could know this would be Neil’s final tour I feel like we all lived like it: so many dear memories made and lots of laughs,” he says. His voice is so strong and vibrant, it felt like the years all fall away.”. “We’ll laugh, and then we all get in a circle and one person gets in the middle and we all go ‘WhooOoOoOoooOop!’ Then we’re ready to go!” On off nights, he regularly treated the 80-strong entourage to movie outings, renting out entire theaters for the occasion. I still have my boys. Birthdays were always recognized with onstage shout-outs, and at the end of each tour Diamond always made a point of thanking each member of his massive crew by name. I want to stay productive. “It was a shock because he always seemed very healthy. The 77-year-old canceled planned concerts when he announced he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in January. He always lets you know that he cares.”. He retired from touring in January 2018 to battle Parkinson’s disease. “Neil is such a big part of my life. “I want to stay productive. In March, Neil played a medley of hits during a rare public appearance in Las Vegas. He’s literally always been a part of it.”. He maintained a close bond with his band, nicknamed the Neil Diamond Road Racing Team. Get push notifications with news, features and more. Still, fans will be able to see the icon perform with “Hot August Night Ill,” a live concert CD/DVD chronicling his return to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in August 2012. Neil, who is managed by his third wife Katie, 49, says of his Parkinson’s: “I’m doing pretty well. There’s a little magic involved in it,” he said. Coyote Ugly Turns 20: Where Is the Cast Now? I’m feeling better every day,” he added. Introducing ... PEOPLE's Products Worth the Hype, Neil Diamond stood before more than a million revelers, canceling the remainder of his tour and announcing his immediate retirement. He said he’s not sure he can perform more than one song at the moment, but added: “The only way I could find out is to actually do it.”, “But I think I can and I will give it a try at some point,” he added. I want to do it,” he said. “It’s not work, that’s for sure! “You just have to be there and let the moment happen. It’s just something that you really can’t describe,” he continued. “It does have its challenges, but I’m feeling good and I feel very positive about. I still have my boys. Dates in Australia and New Zealand were booked for the spring, and he was tapped to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in recognition of his half-century reign as a 130 million record-selling singer, songwriter and entertainment powerhouse. I’m active. Rehearsals for the Australia leg were due to commence when they received word of the cancellation a day before it made headlines. The Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, officially giving conservatives a 6-3 majority on the bench, retired from the road due to Parkinson’s disease, Neil Diamond thanks fans for 'outpouring of love' after Parkinson's diagnosis, Alan Alda reveals he has Parkinson's disease, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. I just can’t do the traveling that I once did, but I have my wife there supporting me (and) friends,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press. If you would like to opt out of browser push notifications, please refer to the following instructions specific to your device and browser: Neil Diamond's Parkinson's Fight: Inside the Music Legend's Triumphant Last Tour. Neil Diamond is set to create another Beautiful Noise – by making a comeback at 79. “This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”, His diagnosis came as a surprise even to longtime members of his traveling band. Neil, whose hits include Sweet Caroline and Cracklin’ Rosie, will duet with pal Stevie Wonder on one track. https://parade.com/31344/davidbrowne/31-neil-diamond-on-life-marriage-music “Just dealing with it as best I can, and just keep the music coming.”. But just three weeks after his New Year’s Eve victory lap, and two days before his 77th birthday, Diamond stunned fans by canceling the remainder of his tour and announcing his immediate retirement from live concerts. “It brings back memories – very deep, loving and warm memories,” he said of his performance. “No prompter, no paper, no nothing!” marvels Maxine. That’s part of the thrill of the whole thing. “Playing there and doing music relating to the audience, it was special. Guitarist Nick Bennett is a second-generation member of the Road Team. I take my meds. It’s a powerful tool.”, Diamond is one of music’s best-selling singers with a number of hit songs, from “Sweet Caroline” to “America” to “Love on the Rocks.”. Neil Diamond's shocking diagnosis came as a surprise even to longtime members of his traveling band. Neil Diamond is set to create another Beautiful Noise – by making a comeback at 79. The year had been a triumph with packed stadiums across North American and Europe for his 50th Anniversary Tour, and 2018 seemed just as bright.

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