Neil Diamond has retired from touring after Parkinson's diagnosis

23 January 2018, 09:19 | Updated: 23 January 2018, 10:47

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond has announced that he is to retire from touring, after recently being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The legendary singer - who turns 77 on Wednesday (January 24) - cancelled his upcoming tour dates in Australia and New Zealand on medical advice.

In a statement, he said he took the decision "with great reluctance and disappointment".

"I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years," he said.

"My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows."

However, Diamond added that he hopes to continue writing and recording music.

> 11 of the best ever Neil Diamond songs

"My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world," he said. "You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement."

Referring to his huge hit 'Sweet Caroline', he added: "This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good' thanks to you."

Famous friends and fans sent their best wishes to the singer on social media, including his old friend Barry Manilow: