Entertainment

Neil Diamond cancels New Zealand tour after Parkinson's diagnosis

'My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement.'

"Sweet Caroline" singer Neil Diamond has revealed that he's been battling Parkinson's disease. The neurodegenerative disorder has also forced Neil to retire from concert touring, leaving fans heartbroken.

"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," the legendary musician announced on his website.

"I have been so honoured 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. 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."

Luckily, Neil has every intention of giving his fans more music, without the burden of performing night after night. "I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come," he says.

Unfortunately since "the onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis," his doctors advised him to rest. Therefore "the third leg of Diamond's 50th Anniversary tour, set to land in Australia and New Zealand this March, has been cancelled."

He also made sure to include refund information for fans that had purchased tickets to the tour, which had sold out shows all over the world.

"Tickets purchased by credit or debit card will be refunded in full (including your ticket insurance premium, if relevant) and you do not need to take any action. Please allow up to 10 working days for the refund to appear in your account. Patrons who purchased tickets with cash or EFTPOS, Ticketek will be in contact to arrange a refund."

Neil remains enthusiastic about the future, and he has a lot to look forward to.

"On January 24th, Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday and on January 28th The Recording Academy will honour him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award," said the statement, and we can't wait to see him accept the well-deserved honour.

This article originally appeared on our sister site Closer.