Neil Diamond, the famous singer known for hits like Sweet Caroline, announced during his 50th Anniversary World Tour that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating illness that affects movement and has no known cure.
Despite the diagnosis, Diamond continued to tour until his retirement in 2018, and he reassured his fans that he was “doing pretty well” despite the challenges of his condition.
He remained optimistic, saying that he was “getting better every day” and that he would continue to perform to the best of his ability for as long as he could.
“I adhere to my medication regimen and exercise regularly at the gym. I’m in good physical shape and feeling well. I would like to continue working, but I cannot travel as much as before. Fortunately, my spouse and friends remain supportive,” the singer stated.
At an honors ceremony in Las Vegas, the celebrity made a rare appearance on stage.
Despite retirement and illness, the singer continues to jot down musical concepts, indicating that he remains committed to his craft.
He believes that his illness has actually enhanced his singing voice.
“I feel like I’m singing better than ever, strangely enough,” said the singer. “It’s probably because I’m not straining my voice by singing loudly while traveling. My voice is in excellent condition, which surprised me.”
The singer stated that he does not deal with the emotional toll of the disease, saying, “I guess I’m in denial. I’m in a great mood. I’ve been making music since I was a teenager, and I don’t tense up when I’m in front of a microphone. I just let go and let it all out.”
“I never expected to make it this far, so even if it’s been a long journey, I have to accept it,” he added.
“I’m grateful for my fortunate circumstances in being here. I’m considering writing some new songs about it. I’m just happy to be here,” the singer remarked.
According to The Mayo Clinic, because Parkinson’s disease is degenerative, early symptoms may include a lack of emotion on the face. While most symptoms go unnoticed, speech may become slurred, and stiff arms may result from walking.
As the disease progresses, symptoms typically remain on one side of the body.