Neil Diamond has kept a low-profile since announcing his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis in 2018. But in an upcoming interview with CBS Sunday Morning the 82-year-old singer talks about being in denial for the first year after his diagnosis.
“I’m still doing it. And I don’t like it,” Diamond said about his initial refusal to accept that he has the incurable, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the brain and physical movement. “But … this is me; this is what I have to accept. And I’m willing to do it. And, okay, 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.”
Even after several years, Diamond said it is literally just in the “last few weeks” that he’s finally come to terms with his diagnosis, which has brought some tranquility. “Somehow, a calm has moved [into] the hurricane of my life, and things have gotten very quiet, as quiet as this recording studio,” he told interviewer Anthony Mason. “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 retired from touring after his diagnosis — also discusses what it feels like to watch his life’s story play out on Broadway in the A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical. He tells Mason that it was, “all pretty hard. I was a little embarrassed. I was flattered, and I was scared… Being found out is the scariest thing you can hope, because we all have a façade. And the truth be known to all of ’em. I’m not some big star. I’m just me.”
Though he has mostly stayed out of the public eye since the diagnosis, Diamond made a rare appearance on Dec. 4 when he surprised the audience on opening night of the musical when he popped up unexpectedly in the balcony during curtain call to help lead the crowd in a singalong of his beloved 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline.”
Diamond’s Sunday Morning interview is slated to air on Sunday (April 2) at 9 a.m. ET on CBS and then stream on Paramount+; watch a preview of the chat here.