Neil Diamond has today cancelled all his upcoming Australian and New Zealand tour dates following his announcement that he is retiring from touring, effective immediately.

In a statement posted on his website, Diamond, who turns 77 tomorrow, admitted that this decision is due to his recent diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, and his difficulty to travel and perform on a large scale.

“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,” said Neil Diamond. “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.”

My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he continued. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”

Neil Diamond had announced Australian dates for his 50th anniversary tour back in November, with the singer planning to perform nine dates around the country between March and April. Diamond’s website advises that all ticket holders will receive full refunds from Ticketek.

Undoubtedly, this is terrible news for both the music world, and for Neil Diamond as well. We wish him in the best in his future endeavours as he continues to write and record, and our thoughts go out to him in light of his diagnosis.

Check out Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’:

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Neil Diamond 50th Anniversary Australian Tour

Tuesday, March 20th
1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville, QLD

Thursday, March 22nd
Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokarina, Queensland

Saturday, March 24th
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, March 27th
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW

Saturday, March 31st
Sutton Grange Winery, Sutton Grange, VIC

Tuesday, April 3rd
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC

Saturday, April 7th
Roche Estate, Hunter Valley, NSW

Wednesday, April 11th
Botanic Park, Adelaide, SA

Saturday, April 14th
Sandalford Estate, Perth, WA