Neil Diamond sings Sweet Caroline during the Broadway opening of his musical A Beautiful Noise

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Neil Diamond sings Sweet Caroline at the Broadway opening of his musical A Beautiful Noise with wife Katie McNeil by his side… five years after retiring due to Parkinson’s diagnosis

The rock legend retired from touring in January 2018 after revealing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

And on Sunday, Neil Diamond, 81, sang Sweet Caroline, with wife Katie McNeil, 52, by his side, during the Broadway opening of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical.

Wearing a metallic python print jacket and a roll neck jumper, the superstar stood in a box at the side of the theatre to sing his iconic hit, to a packed crowd of delighted fans.

Amazing! On Sunday, Neil Diamond, 81, sang Sweet Caroline, with wife Katie McNeil by his side, during the Broadway opening of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical

Amazing! On Sunday, Neil Diamond, 81, sang Sweet Caroline, with wife Katie McNeil by his side, during the Broadway opening of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical

Neil clutched onto a wireless handheld mic as he stood and belted out the lyrics, while the audience joyfully sang along. 

It was a rare public outing for the beloved singer songwriter, who quit the business through illness during his 50th anniversary tour, and has shied away from the limelight ever since. 

In fact, the performance marked Neil’s first time singing in NYC since 2017, although the star came out of retirement in 2000 to perform his hits at a benefit gala in Las Vegas

The Grammy and Golden Globe winner last performed a full gig at the Forum in Los Angeles in August 2017. 

Superstar: Wearing a metallic python print jacket and a roll neck jumper, the superstar stood in a box at the side of the theatre to sing his iconic hit, to a packed crowd of delighted fans

Superstar: Wearing a metallic python print jacket and a roll neck jumper, the superstar stood in a box at the side of the theatre to sing his iconic hit, to a packed crowd of delighted fans

Brooklyn-born Diamond began his career writing for others but found success after penning his own tracks.

He has had more than 70 songs in the Billboard charts and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

The singing legend, who has sold over 125 million records, announced his decision to stop touring in 2018 after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

At the beginning of 2022, Neil sold his entire song catalog to the publishing arm of Universal Music

Icon: He has had more than 70 songs in the Billboard charts and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Pictured in 1877)

Icon: He has had more than 70 songs in the Billboard charts and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Pictured in 1877)

In a statement, UMG said the deal also covered the rights to all recordings from Diamond’s 60-year career, including 110 unreleased tracks, an unreleased album and archival long form videos.

At the time, Neil said: ‘After nearly a decade in business with UMG, I am thankful for the trust and respect that we have built together,’ Diamond, 81, said in a statement.

‘I feel confident in the knowledge that…the global team at UMG will continue to represent my catalogue and future releases with the same passion and integrity that have always fuelled my career.’

WHAT IS PARKINSON’S DISEASE? 

Parkinson’s disease affects one in 500 people, and around 127,000 people in the UK live with the condition.

Figures also suggest one million Americans also suffer.

It causes muscle stiffness, slowness of movement, tremors, sleep disturbance, chronic fatigue, an impaired quality of life and can lead to severe disability.

It is a progressive neurological condition that destroys cells in the part of the brain that controls movement.

Sufferers are known to have diminished supplies of dopamine because nerve cells that make it have died.

There is currently no cure and no way of stopping the progression of the disease, but hundreds of scientific trials are underway to try and change that.  

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