SALT LAKE CITY — It was just April of last year that Neil Diamond stepped onto the Vivint Arena stage and celebrated his 50-year career by performing a slew of his hits.
The celebration went on for nearly two hours and didn’t stop until Diamond performed an encore set that included “America,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Sweet Caroline” — the chorus in the latter song getting revived three times after the final lyrics came to a close.
After his visit to the Beehive State, Diamond continued touring in celebration of his 50-year milestone, but yesterday it was announced that the seasoned performer would be retiring from touring following a recent Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
Just shy of his 77th birthday, the singer announced he’d canceled the third leg of his 50th Anniversary tour based on his doctors’ advice. The tour was scheduled to arrive in Australia and New Zealand in March.
"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” Diamond said in a statement on his website. “I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years."
While Parkinson’s disease makes it difficult for Diamond to travel and perform, the singer assures fans that his career isn’t over just yet.
“I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” he said in the release. “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, who turns 77 on Jan. 24, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 28.