AceShowbiz - %cNeil Diamond% has not only canceled the next leg of his 50th anniversary tour, but also announced that he would be retiring from touring. The decision was made after the 76-year-old was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder with no cure.
"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," Diamond said in a statement that was posted on his website. "I have been so honored 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."
Although he will be no longer hitting the road, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted singer plans to "remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come." He continued, "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 so good, so good' thanks to you," referencing to his 1969 hit "Sweet Caroline".
His announcement surely shocked and saddened all of his fans, but many of them respected his decision and said that they would still support the singer. "I'm very sorry to hear that a performer whose voice is still in top form has to retire from touring. You were amazing in Philly, and I'm glad you'll still be recording," a fan wrote on Twitter.
@NeilDiamond I'm very sorry to hear that a performer whose voice is still in top form has to retire from touring. You were amazing in Philly, and I'm glad you'll still be recording.— Will Bozarth (@WillBozarth) 23 Januari 2018
The singer, who will be celebrating his 77th birthday on January 24, was supposed to kick off the Australasian leg of his tour in March. Now that he has announced his retirement, the tour dates have been canceled.
"I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil's illness and his retirement from touring," said Paul Dainty, the promoter for Diamond's Australasian tour. "I've had the honor of promoting Neil's numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand. He is one of the greatest artists and we and his thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under."