Sad news for Neil Diamond fans: The beloved singer has announced his retirement from touring effective immediately because of a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Diamond, who turns 77 on Wednesday, says he has had to call off the Australia and New Zealand legs of his 50th Anniversary tour, which included more than 50 shows in the US and Europe last year, USA Today reports. "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," he said in a statement on his website. "My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows."
Diamond, who performed on Fox's New Years Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square last month, says he plans to continue making music. "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 wrote. "You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you,'" he added, quoting his hit "Sweet Caroline." Diamond, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Sunday, reports Reuters. (Read more Neil Diamond stories.)