Neil Diamond retires from touring due to Parkinson's disease
American singer song-writer Neil Diamond has announced that he plans to retire from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
The news comes just one day before the singer's 77th birthday.
Diamond had already begun his 50th anniversary tour when he took medical advice and cancelled his remaining performances.
Shows scheduled in Australia and New Zealand during March will no longer take place.
'Great reluctance and disappointment'
In a statement on his website, the musician wrote:
“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.
"My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.
"I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come."
A number of famous names have wished Diamond well via Twitter on hearing the news, including Nancy Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and music writer, David Wild.
Keep fighting, old buddy. You've got a long way to go yet. @NeilDiamond ❤️ Call the sun in the dead of the night and the sun's gonna rise in the sky.
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) January 23, 2018
#Neil 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!
— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) January 23, 2018
— josh groban (@joshgroban) January 23, 2018
Some friends or fans who had met Diamond during his touring career tweeted fond memories of spending time with the star, or seeing him perform live.
The kindest thing any star ever did for me was at the beginning of my career at @RollingStone. @NeilDiamond invited my mom who loved him backstage and treated her like a Queen. She kept this photo on her bedside table for the rest of her life. God Bless #NeilDiamond. pic.twitter.com/4IfTnwaFlN
— David Wild (@Wildaboutmusic) January 23, 2018
My favorite @NeilDiamond concert memory is when I had an 8-week old baby, lived in upstate NY, & convinced my BFF to drive with me to PA for the concert. Baby in tow. Husband hung with baby at hotel. Josie and I danced our hearts out & I swear Neil saw us.
— Ally Condie (@allycondie) January 23, 2018
1 in 500 people affected
Parkinson's disease is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system.
Symptoms tend to start slowly.
According to NHS guidelines, the three main symptoms of the condition are:
involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremors)slow movementstiff and inflexible muscles
Those with Parkinson's can also experience depression and anxiety, problems with balance, a loss of the sense of smell, sleep issues and loss of memory.
Most sufferers tend to experience symptoms once they are over the age of 50.
It is estimated that around 1 in 500 people are affected by Parkinson's disease, meaning that around 127,000 people in the UK are living with the condition.