Neil Diamond surprised the crowd at a Las Vegas benefit concert over the weekend when he performed for the first time since retiring! Back in 2018, Diamond had announced his retirement due to being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease through a statement he posted to his website. Still, he'd made it clear that he wasn't going to completely put an end to his career.
"I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come," Diamond said in his statement two years ago. "My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you".
Diamond given special honour at brain health awareness benefit
Diamond was honoured for having made musical contributions that impacted the world during Keep Memory Alive's 24th annual Power of Love Gala. The event itself took place on Saturday at MGM's Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Diamond spoke out about his participation for the cause. "I'm feeling great," Diamond said. "This is an important thing they're doing and I feel honoured to be part of it and take part in it".
His award was presented to him by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and the founder and chairman of Keep Memory Alive, Larry Ruvo. "I love Las Vegas and I love Neil Diamond,” Kimmel began, introducing Diamond before he performed. "Not only do I love Neil, but my parents love him, my friends love him, my children love him. Neil Diamond is an amazing songwriter and singer and I think you will agree that no Jewish man looks better in sequins than Neil Diamond".
Neil Diamond's unforgettable return to the stage: what he sang!
Diamond performed several of his popular songs while dressed in one of his signature shiny jackets. "Hello Again", "Forever in Blue Jeans", "Cracklin' Rosie", "Love on Rocks", "I Am...I Said", and "September Morn" were all on the setlist for his first performance since retirement. Of course, Diamond closed out the evening with his crowd-pleasing classic "Sweet Caroline".
He was joined by Kimmel as well as a few other famous attendees for the song, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Chris Isaak, Sammy Hagar, and Katlyn Nichol. The triumphant number was captured on video by Review Journal columnist John Katsilometes, who posted it to Twitter.
"Sweet ... well, you know the rest. Damn. This was something special," he wrote. "@NeilDiamond finale w/ @sammyhagar @KennyEdmonds @katlynNichol @chrisisaak @billyraycyrus @jimmykimmel #poweroflove @reviewjournal @neonlasvegas"