‘I have to make the best of it’
Neil Diamond is opening up about living with Parkinson’s disease.
The 82-year-old announced his diagnosis in 2018 and has now revealed that he’s only recently started to come to terms with it.
Diamond shared that he was in denial and couldn’t accept his condition for the first year or two after his diagnosis with Parkinson’s, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain and the parts of the body controlled by nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“I’m still doing it. And I don’t like it,” Diamond said during an interview that will air this weekend on “CBS Sunday Morning.”
“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.”
Though it’s been several years since the doctors informed him of his diagnosis, it “has just been in the last few weeks” that he’s finally started to accept it, which has given him peace of mind.
“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 music legend said.
Diamond retired from touring after his diagnosis, but his life story is now being played out in the hit Broadway musical “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical.”
“It was all pretty hard. I was a little embarrassed,” Diamond responded when asked how it feels to see his life onstage. “I was flattered, and I was scared.
“Being found out is the scariest thing you can hope for because we all have a facade,” he added. “And the truth be known to all of ’em. I’m not some big star — I’m just me.”
Diamond’s latest interview will air Sunday, April 2, at 9 a.m. EST on CBS and can be streamed on Paramount+ or the CBS News app.
Despite giving up going on the road due to Parkinson’s, Diamond hasn’t let the condition stop him from performing every now and then.
In December on the opening night of the Broadway show about his life, he gave the crowd a thrill by singing part of his gold-record single “Sweet Caroline” at curtain call.
As the cast wrapped up the show, the singer belted out his iconic song from his box seat in the Broadhurst Theatre, sparking a massive singalong, with the entire audience getting on their feet.
He also gave a surprise performance at the 24th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in 2020.
Diamond unloaded his song catalog and the rights to all recordings from his career to Universal Music Group for an undisclosed amount in February 2022.
He has sold more than 130 million albums with hit songs including “America,” “Love on the Rocks,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Red Red Wine” and “I’m a Believer.”