Both as a hit songwriter and leading performer, Neil Diamond has enjoyed an incredibly successful career with over 115 million worldwide record sales. Born January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family descended from Russian and Polish immigrants, he originally planned to be a doctor, but was diverted when his musical talent was noticed and he was offered a job writing songs for a publishing company. He made his recording debut in the duo Neil & Jack with school friend Jack Packer. Although they failed to achieve success, his breakthrough as a songwriter came when The Monkees took his song “I'm a Believer” to number 1. Elvis Presley, Lulu, and Cliff Richard also recorded his material while Diamond had his first hit in his own right with “Solitary Man” in 1966. His hits of the 1970s included “Cracklin' Rosie”, “Sweet Caroline”, and “You Don't Bring Me Flowers” which have since become among the most recorded songs of all time. In the '80s he starred in a remake of The Jazz Singer through which he had three top 10 singles – “Love On the Rocks”, “Hello Again”, and “America” - and he was asked to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 1987. The '90s brought a resurgence in the popularity of “Sweet Caroline” as it featured regularly at sporting events. He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and awarded the Billboard Icon Award and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011, with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star coming in 2012. Melody Road, his first album under Capitol Records (his 32nd overall), was released in 2014 and an anniversary album, Neil Diamond 50 - 50th Anniversary Collection was released in 2017. He announced his retirement from touring in 2018 but continues to write music. He reworked songs from his catalogue in a different setting for 2020’s Classic Diamonds with the London Symphony Orchestra.