Neil Diamond fans received an early Christmas present this week after the singing sensation himself belted out his signature song Sweet Caroline at the opening night of his Broadway show.
Sunday night’s opening show of A Beautiful Noise at Broadhurst Theatre proved that Parkinson’s disease won’t stop Diamond from wowing a crowd as the 81-year-old got to his feet and encouraged attendees to sing along with him as he gave a surprise performance from his box seat.
The performance marked the first time Diamond has performed live in New York since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s back in 2017.
NEIL DIAMOND singing “Sweet Caroline” at the Broadway opening of his musical “A Beautiful Noise” this week, five years after retiring due to his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Beautiful.
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) December 6, 2022
Fans of the singer were so moved by Diamond’s performance that many took to Twitter to share the impact Sweet Caroline has on their lives.
One of the most meaningful, beautiful and heartfelt moments I have seen all year. I am sitting at Walgreens waiting for my flu shot. I am singing Sweet Caroline with tears on my face. Thank you for making my day.
— Mar Lop (@marysolLop) December 6, 2022
SO SPECIAL!! My father bought this single not long after it came out. He bought very few popular records – my parents preferred classical music – so this is one of maybe 5 pop songs I knew before getting a radio for my 13th birthday. Go Neil Diamond you good thing xx
— Corinne Podger (@corinne_podger) December 7, 2022
Just when I lost all hope for humanity…..this happens to revive my spirit.
Once again, music and a magical moment in time to heal us all. ????????????????????
— #IStandWithUkraine ???? #IStandWithLabor (@Rocka_Rollar) December 6, 2022
With over 130 million records sold worldwide, Diamond has left his mark as one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Unfortunately, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee was forced into retirement in 2018 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
In a statement from the singer to fans, Diamond expressed his disappointment upon having to retire.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” he said, adding that he was “honoured” to have been able to perform for the public for 50 years.
“I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
Despite no longer touring, the Brooklyn-born singer is known to make the occasional post-retirement performance.
Months prior to the opening night of his musical, Diamond surprised baseball fans who attended the Boston Red Sox game in June by singing Sweet Caroline during the game’s eight-inning stretch.