In a recent interview, legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond spoke about making peace with his heartbreaking diagnosis, saying “a calm has moved in” regarding acceptance. “I have to make the best of it, and so I am.”
Neil Diamond says he’s finally accepted living with a debilitating disease
In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning, legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, 82, revealed that it had only been “in the last few weeks” that he finally came to accept his debilitating diagnosis.
Diamond first revealed in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It’s taken the singer five years to finally come to terms with his fate and the challenge of living with the condition.
It was also five years ago that Diamond made the decision to retire from touring, although he still reaches out to his devoted fans, People reported.
“But somehow, a calm has moved in, and the hurricane of my life, and things have gotten very quiet, as quiet as this recording studio,” Diamond said during the interview. “And, I like it. I find that I like myself better.”
“I’m easier on people,” Diamond confessed. “I’m easier on myself. And the beat goes on, and it will go on long after I’m gone.”
“I’m still doing it,” Diamond continued. “And I don’t like it. But the … this is me; this is what I have to accept.”
“And I’m willing to do it,” the singer added. “And, OK, so this is the hand that God’s given me, and I have to make the best of it, and so I am. I am.”
And “doing it,” as in singing, still happens for Diamond, despite not touring.
Last December, Diamond surprised both fans and audience members who were attending a performance of a musical about his life entitled A Beautiful Noise. Diamond made an impromptu rendition of his iconic song “Sweet Caroline.”
It was not only a rare sighting of the music legend but also the first time Diamond had performed in his hometown since 2017.
The incredible musical legacy of Neil Diamond
The musical success of Neil Diamond is a lesson in perseverance and dedication. Neil was born in New York City in 1941. He dropped out of college to take a 16-week job writing songs for what would be about $460 weekly in 2021. He was not rehired but continued to write and also sang on demos (demonstration recordings) for other artists.
For the next seven years, Neil tried and failed as both an artist and a songwriter. His first success came in 1965 with the song “Sunday and Me,” a top 20 hit for Jay and the Americans. Then, he wrote four hits for The Monkees, including “I’m a Believer,” which became a gold record two days after its release, topped the charts for seven weeks, and became the Popular Music Song of the Year in 1966.
Then came a string of hits for other big names, including Elvis Presley, Deep Purple, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Cliff Richard.
Diamond signed a deal as a solo artist in 1966 and had a hit with “Solitary Man.” More hits followed, including “Cherry Cherry” and “Kentucky Woman” (also a hit for Deep Purple).
Neil had a string of hits from 1969 to 1972, including “Sweet Caroline,” which reached #1, “Holly Holy,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” and “Song Sung Blue,” which also hit #1.
All totaled, Diamond has had ten #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary Charts, as well as 38 songs in the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.