Legendary crooner and touring powerhouse Neil Diamond has announced his retirement from concert touring due to a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic – Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond performs on stage during the 84th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center on November 30, 2016 in New York City.
“The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis but will allow Mr. Diamond to continue his writing, recording and development of new projects,” an announcement said. “Based on his doctors’ advice, the third leg of Diamond’s 50th Anniversary tour, set to land in Australia and New Zealand this March, has been cancelled.”
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” Diamond said in a statement. “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 retirement from touring would be a major blow to the business. Since 1999, he’s grossed $470 million according to 375 Boxoffice reports submitted to Pollstar. Pollstar projects that Diamond sold nearly 7 million tickets from 1999 through today with 438 cities and 568 shows.
In making the announcement, Australian concert promoter Paul Dainty, President and CEO of TEG Dainty stated: “I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring. I have had the honour of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand, he is one of the world’s greatest artists and we and his thousands and thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under.”
Another promoter who’s worked with Diamond over the years is Concerts West co-CEO John Meglen, who recently spoke with Pollstar about the importance of artists giving back to their audience onstage.
“One of the greatest of all time at doing that is Neil Diamond,” Meglen said, noting that Diamond opened countless buildings for the promoter. “He just gives and gives and gives.” Marveling at Diamond’s current touring, Meglen said, “I remember 20 years ago we were talking about Neil still selling out multiple arenas. Incredible.” This year, Neil Diamond was on a tear touring, and was No. 24 Worldwide in 2017, according to Pollstar’s Year End Special Features.
He did a lengthy run through north American arenas this Spring through summer, as well as overseas dates.
Diamond also toured heavily in 2015, where he again came in at No. 20 on the Year End Top 100 Worldwide chart and grossed $68 million.
He recently charted on Pollstar’s Global Concert Pulse with an average gross of $1.35 million and 12,129 tickets sold per event over the past three months.
Scott Legato / RockStarProPhotography.com – Neil Diamond
The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mich.
Reports submitted to Pollstar most recently include Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 at The O2 in London, which sold a combined 26,326 tickets and grossed $3.12 million. Other big tallies include Oct. 1 at Manchester Arena, which sold 13,132 tickets and grossed $1.61 million, Sept. 28 at Antwerp Sportpaleis in Belgium (15,309, $1.39 million), and Arena Birmingham in England Oct. 13, which sold 12,389 tickets and grossed $1.51 million.
Fellow hit maker Barry Manilow showed his support with a Tweet.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Neil?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Neil</a> Diamond So,so sorry to hear about the great Neil Diamond’s illness. I’m rooting for you Neil! Fight on from another Brooklyn boy!</p>— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) <a href=”https://twitter.com/barrymanilow/status/955637490752274434?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>January 23, 2018</a></blockquote>
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On Jan. 24, Diamond will celebrate his 77th birthday and on Jan. 28 The Recording Academy will honor him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.