Neil Diamond claims that accepting his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in 2018 was a process.
In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning that will run this weekend, the 82-year-old singer-songwriter and author of “Sweet Caroline” talked about his illustrious career and health. He acknowledged that for the first two years following his diagnosis with the central nervous system illness, which can result in unintentional or uncontrollable movements, he lived in denial. Just recently has acceptance begun to flow.
“I’m still doing it,” he said of coming to terms with the diagnosis. “And I don’t like it. 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.”
Asked by Anthony Mason when the acceptance part started to come about, Diamond said it’s “just been in the last few weeks.”
Since then, the iconic performer — a Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee — said:“A calm has moved in, and 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.”
Diamond, who declared his immediate retirement after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, has made a few appearances in connection with the Broadway production of A Wonderful Noise, which is based on his life and songs. Theatergoers in NYC were treated to a “Sweet Caroline” singalong on opening night in December, which he organized.
Asked the hardest part of watching his life play out on the stage, he replied:“It was all pretty hard. I was a little embarrassed. I was flattered and I was scared.”
Of the fear, he explained:“Being found out is the scariest thing you can hope, because we all have a facade. And the truth be known to all of ’em. I’m not some big star. I’m just me.”
Diamond’s full interview will air Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on CBS and stream on Paramount+.