With spirited, audience singalong versions of "Sweet Caroline" and a choir-assisted "America," Neil Diamond closed the 2011 Billboard Music Awards Sunday night (May 22) by accepting his 2011 Billboard Icon Award.
Seeming just as moved by but more coherent than his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in March, a leather-jacketed Diamond hushed the standing ovation from crowd at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena by saying, "I'm gonna get spoiled. Don't do that." Diamond also joked, "I would've settled for a Top 10 record; you didn't have to do the whole award thing. I love it. I don't know exactly what it means to be an icon, but I always wanted to be one. Now I guess I am…I'm gonna Google it right after the show and find out exactly how an icon is supposed to handle himself. But this is absolutely wonderful…What can I say? It's too much."