He decided to retire in January 2018 from live tours after his Parkinson's diagnosis.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 7, 2022. It has since been updated.
Our favorite singers retiring after a long successful career can leave us with bittersweet feelings. However, their return to give a special performance can prove to be extremely satisfying. Neil Diamond, the well-known singer-songwriter, has such a pleasant surprise to his fans on the opening night of the broadway show "A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical."
He sang his most popular song "Sweet Caroline" among the audience cheering and applauding the musical legend. Twitter user, Ben Philips, shared a clip of the performance with the caption, "I don’t know who needs to hear this but Neil Diamond, who retired from performing five years ago because of Parkinson's, just had a Broadway show of him open and it at the opening night he did this." The tweet gathered attention as people were astounded to see Diamond's resistance against his diagnosis and gathering the strength to do a live performance after almost four years.
I don’t know who needs to hear this but Neil Diamond, who retired from performing five years ago because of Parkinsons, just had a Broadway show of him open and it at the opening night he did this pic.twitter.com/eJ02YUAzr5— Ben Phillips (@benphillips76) December 6, 2022
The musical "Beautiful Voice" chronicles Diamond's life and his legendary musical career. According to their website, the show tells the story of a "Brooklyn kid who made it big" and had "10 Top 10 Hits, 140 million albums sales." Diamond went on to win a Grammy award and entered the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame. Later, he was also awarded the lifetime achievement Grammy and the Kennedy Center Honors.
He, unfortunately, had to stop touring in January 2018 after his Parkinson's diagnosis. He shared while announcing his retirement, "The onset of the disease has made it difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis. 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."
Opening night @beautifulnoise. @NeilDiamond you are a legend. NYC you were glowing tonight. pic.twitter.com/76GIvqDnsJ— Dr. Rita Meyerson, EdD (@ritameyerson) December 5, 2022
This was a setback for the singer, who confessed in 2019 he still aspires to perform again someday. He told Parade, "I love performing. But I'll have to deal with it. In my heart, I secretly think, well, maybe I can do a few more shows." After his retirement, he did perform some singular shows in a way to still connect with his fans and the musical based on his life gave him another chance to do that.
I woulda sobbed. And I mean sobbed.— Kathleen Smith (@KikkiPlanet) December 6, 2022
Neil Diamond isn’t just a performer. He’s an experience, an era, a vibe, an icon.
He is legend ♥️ https://t.co/QLVGcMnabJ
A Twitter user noted, "What a beautiful tribute for him to see a musical based on his life while still around for it! And then for him to appear on opening night & to sing so well in his inimitable voice, while not feeling 100%—it gave me goosebumps. What a thrill for his fans, & thanks for the video!" Another added, "Nobody could put on a one-man show better than Neil Diamond. He kept the audience mesmerized for 90 minutes. Also, I don't know a soul that does not know the words to Sweet Caroline. He is legend."
The broadway show is now live at Broadhurst Theatre in New York and will be running till February-end. Will Swenson, a Tony Award nominee, plays the role of Diamond and it is directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer.