“I’m feeling great” is what Neil Diamond said over the weekend at a gala benefit in Las Vegas honoring him and his music.
The legendary singer, who turned 79 in January and announced his retirement from touring in 2018 due to his Parkinson’s diagnosis, also surprised the crowd at Keep Memory Alive’s 24th annual Power of Love gala with a mini concert.
It was Diamond’s first live performance since the announcement, and he brought the crowd to their feet with renditions of “Hello Again,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Love on the Rocks,” “I Am…I Said,” “September Morn” and, of course, “Sweet Caroline.”
Prior to Diamond taking the stage, his songs were performed by the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Babyface, Sammy Hagar and Chris Isaak. Jimmy Kimmel, who was also on hand for the tribute, told the crowd, “I love Las Vegas and I love Neil Diamond. 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,” Kimmel continued, “and I think you will agree that no Jewish man looks better in sequins than Neil Diamond.”
The event raised funds for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. After accepting his award, Diamond told the crowd, “I’m feeling great. This is an important thing they’re doing and I feel honored to be part of it and take part in it.”
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