BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Legendary musician Neil Diamond is retiring from touring after revealing he has Parkinson’s disease.
The rock legend announced this week that he’s canceling his March tour dates in Australia and New Zealand. Diamond was on his 50th anniversary tour. He turns 77 on Wednesday.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years,” Diamond said in a statement.
Dr. Molly Del Santo is a neurologist at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain and Spine Institute at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.
“Over time, you’ll develop symptoms like slowness, stiffness, decreased walking speed, tremor. Not everyone has those symptoms, but they accumulate over time,” she said.
Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the brain which lowers the amount of the chemical dopamine in the body. Treatment includes speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and working with your doctor closely for medication adjustments.
News of his diagnosis has led musicians like Barry Manilow and Brian Wilson to post their thoughts on social media.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer thanked fans for their support.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world…you will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement,” Diamond said. With a nod to his famous song “Sweet Caroline,” he added, “This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
Diamond’s numerous hits include ″America,” ″Love on the Rocks” and “Hello Again.” He will receive the lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s Grammy awards.