The One and Only Neil – Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease - Caroline Sutherland
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The One and Only Neil – Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

The One and Only Neil – Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease

What’s not to love about Neil Diamond – especially if your name is Caroline! This week sadly, the iconic singer announced his retirement from touring because of a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.

In a statement the singer said, “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.”

The singer had been planning a March tour of Australia and New Zealand as a part of his 50th anniversary tour. Those performances have been canceled, according to the statement.

Diamond, 76, known for such hits as “Sweet Caroline,” said he plans to continue writing and recording.

The song has been played at every Boston Red Sox home game for more than a decade, and there was a spike in downloads after the April 2013 Boston Marathon tragedy.

I have always wondered about the origin of the song.

For years the lore has been that Neil Diamond’s 1969 song “Sweet Caroline” was an ode to the then young daughter of late president John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline.

Recently, the singer revealed the truth behind the hit.

“I was writing a song in Memphis, Tennessee, for a session. I needed a three-syllable name,” Diamond said during a recent interview. “The song was about my wife at the time — her name was Marsha — and I couldn’t get a ‘Marsha’ rhyme.” Sweet Caroline” has since become a staple track.”

“My thanks go out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement,” he said.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that can cause tremors, slowness of movement and other symptoms. In a show of support, fans are donating their ticket refunds to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Aww – Neil we love you!