Neil Diamond says he came to terms with Parkinson’s diagnosis ‘in the last few weeks’: ‘A calm has moved in’
The 82-year-old legend admitted he struggled to accept his diagnosis and was in denial for a year or two during an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” which will air April 2.
“I’m still doing it. And I don’t like it,” the music legend said. “But … this is me; this is what I have to accept. And I’m willing to do it. And, OK, so this is the hand that God’s given me, and I have to make the best of it, and so I am. I am.”
Host Anthony Mason asked Diamond about the moment he accepted that he has Parkinson’s, a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement.
NEIL DIAMOND HOSTS ‘SWEET CAROLINE’ GLOBAL SINGALONG TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO COME TOGETHER
“I think this has just been in the last few weeks,” the Grammy winner responded.
“But somehow, a calm has moved [into] the hurricane of my life, and things have gotten very quiet, as quiet as this recording studio. 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.”
The singer announced in January 2018 he was retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The singer-songwriter also announced dates for the final leg of his 50th anniversary world tour were canceled.
In December, Diamond surprised the crowd at the opening night of “A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical” with an impromptu performance of “Sweet Caroline.”
Written by Anthony McCarten and produced by Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio, “A Beautiful Noise” is based on Diamond’s life and musical career.
Diamond and his wife Katie McNeil walked the red carpet ahead of the show’s opening night and were met with a standing ovation when they entered the theater.
While standing next to McNeil in their box seats, Diamond led theatergoers in a singalong of his 1969 megahit during curtain call at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City.
The audience erupted in cheers and applause as he began singing the classic tune with the crowd joining in for the chorus.
The New York City native’s last hometown performance was on New Year’s Eve in Times Square at the end of 2017. The “I’m a Believer” hitmaker has made few public appearances since announcing his retirement.
However, he joined Will Swenson, who plays the younger version of Diamond in the musical, for a performance of “Sweet Caroline” last June during a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park in Boston.
During Diamond’s interview on CBS, Mason asked him about the hardest part of watching his life story portrayed in the Broadway musical.
“It was all pretty hard,” Diamond admitted. “I was a little embarrassed. I was flattered, and I was scared.”
Mason asked, “What were you scared of?”
“Being found out is the scariest thing you can hope, because we all have a façade,” he replied. “And the truth be known to all of ’em. I’m not some big star. I’m just me.”