On Monday night, Neil Diamond announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and is retiring from touring, starting with the third leg of his 50th anniversary tour in March. "It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," Diamond said in a statement, going on to thank his fans with a shout-out to his most famous song, "Sweet Caroline." "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."
Diamond's touring career may be over, but he said he still plans to write and record songs, and develop new projects. Fans in Australia and New Zealand who have tickets to his canceled performances will get refunds. Parkinson's is a degenerative disease that slowly degrades motor skills like walking and talking, with accompanying shaking and stiffness. Diamond said the recent onset of the disorder made it difficult to tour, and he is acting on the advice of his doctor. He turns 77 on Jan. 28. Peter Weber