Neil Diamond Gives Surprise Performance Two Years After Retirement Due To Parkinson's Disease
Due to a painful Parkinson's disease diagnosis, Neil Diamond made the decision to retire in 2018. But on Sunday, the renowned 79-year-old singer gave his first performance in two years at the 24th annual Power of Love Gala held at the MGM's Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
A Noble Cause Worthy Of A Legendary Return
It took an extra special event to lure Neil Diamond back on stage. In this case, it was the 24th yearly Power of Love Gala, which is sponsored by the anti-dementia organization known as Keep Memory Alive.
This infamous gathering took place at MGM's Grand Garden Arena, which is considered to be one of the top Las Vegas venues. In explaining the decision to temporarily suspend his hiatus for this particular gig, Neil said, “This is an important thing they're doing, and I feel honored to be part of it and take part in it.
Neil Shines Like A Diamond As Always
It wouldn’t be a Neil Diamond concert without his trademark sparkling jackets, and he donned an especially shiny coat for this affair. To add a sublime dose of levity, the gathering was hosted by comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
On Neil’s stylish appearance, Jimmy says, “I think you will agree that no Jewish man looks better in sequins than Neil Diamond.”
Supergroup Magic For One Night Only
Neil was accompanied on stage by a legion of superstars including Sammy Hagar, Billy Ray Cyrus, Katlyn Nichol, and Chris Isaak. The setlist was loaded with classics including Forever in Blue Jeans, Love on Rocks, September Morn, and Cracklin' Rosie. Viewers seemed to be enamored with the rendition of I Am… I Said.
Meanwhile, performing Hello Again as an introductory piece was particularly fitting for the occasion, and the crowd went nuts when Sweet Caroline was played as the closing number. While a seven-track set is shorter than what is played at a typical concert, it is still much more than we could have ever expected from the beleaguered songwriting genius.
A Huge Honor For A Huge Act
To coax Neil out of retirement, the organization’s founder, Larry Ruvo, presented him with a special award for delivering a lifetime of impactful cultural contributions via song. Columnist John Katsilometes captured footage of the entire performance for Review Journal, and tweeted an unfiltered reaction that was basically on everyone’s mind: “Damn. This was something special.”
Neil Diamond Simply Cannot Commit to Quitting
On the bright side, the artist is still maintaining a presence in the music world from behind the scenes. When asked about his health, the iconic songwriter didn’t mince any words: “I’m feeling great!” Thanks to his powerhouse stage presence, Neil isn’t the only one who is feeling superb these days; in fact, anybody who watches this video will feel the unfettered happiness rub off on them.
Few artists can muster this level of universal appeal, yet he makes it look like a breeze. Perhaps Jimmy Kimmel described the moment best when he exclaimed,
“I love Neil. My parents love him, my friends love him, my children love him.”
Join The Fight Against Parkinson's Disease
Make sure to pass along this magnificent comeback to anyone who cares about music, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s relief.