‘Sweet Caroline’ Singer Neil Diamond Opens Up About Accepting Parkinson’s Disease: “I can’t really fight this thing”

Neil Diamond, the singer of ‘Sweet Caroline’, recently spoke openly about his experience with Parkinson’s disease, several years after disclosing his diagnosis.

In a candid interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Neil Diamond discussed his journey with Parkinson’s disease, revealing that it took him some time to come to terms with his condition after being diagnosed in 2018. The 82-year-old musician admitted to being in denial for the first couple of years.

“When the doctor told me what it was, I was just not ready to accept it,” he said. “I said, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll see you whenever you want to see me, but I have work to do, so I’ll see you later.’”

According to him, it is only in recent weeks that the Grammy award-winning artist has truly come to accept his diagnosis.

“I don’t like it. But, this is me; this is what I have to accept. And I’m willing to do it,” Diamond said. “This is the hand that God’s given me, and I have to make the best of it, and so I am.”

Part of the reason the musician had trouble accepting his diagnosis was that he had a “pretty amazing life” and he didn’t always appreciate it in the moment.”

Neil Diamond, the singer-songwriter famous for popular songs like “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie,” expressed that accepting his Parkinson’s disease has given him a sense of tranquility.

“I think this has just been in the last few weeks. But somehow, a calm has moved in and the hurricane of my life and things have gotten very quiet.”

“And I like it. I find that I like myself better. I’m easier on people. I’m easier on myself and the beat goes on and it will go on long after I’m gone.”

Neil Diamond’s 2018 diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease resulted in the cancellation of the Australian leg of his 50th-anniversary tour, after having completed shows in the US and Europe. This announcement led to his retirement from touring.

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Diamond has acknowledged that his days of a hectic schedule, composing and touring, are over. “I can’t really fight this thing, so I had to accept it, this Parkinson’s disease. There’s no cure,” he said. “There’s no getting away from it. You can’t just say, ‘OK, enough already. Let’s get back to life.’ It doesn’t work like that.”

During the CBS interview, they also discussed the Broadway musical “A Beautiful Noise,” which premiered in December and is inspired by Neil Diamond’s life and music.

“The show is part of my psychotherapy, and it hurt,” he said.

“I didn’t like looking at myself in many of the scenes … I was a little embarrassed, I was flattered, and I was scared.”


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During the premiere of “A Beautiful Noise,” Neil Diamond surprised the audience by singing “Sweet Caroline” on stage, which marked one of his first public performances since his retirement.

“I can still sing,” he said in the CBS interview. “I’ve been doing it for 50 years and I enjoy it. It’s like all the systems of my mind and my body are working as one.

“I’ve had a pretty amazing life, it’s true.”