The 76-year-old music legend has axed the remaining dates of his ’50th Anniversary Tour’ in Australia and New Zealand on medical advice after the onset of the disease made it “difficult to travel and perform on a large scale basis”.
He said in a statement on his official website: “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honoured to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years.
“My sincerest apologies to everyone who purchased tickets and were planning to come to the upcoming shows.”
Despite hanging up his tour microphone, the ‘Sweet Caroline’ hitmaker has vowed to continue writing and recording music for a “long time to come”.
He added: “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.
“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.”
The upcoming dates were to be the third leg of Neil’s tour after he sold out dates in the US and Europe in 2017.
Australian promoter Paul Dainty, who has been working with Neil on his upcoming run of shows, admitted he is “devastated” about Neil’s diagnosis.
He said: “I am devastated and saddened to hear the news of Neil’s illness and his retirement from touring. I have had the honour of promoting Neil’s numerous tours in Australia and New Zealand, he is one of the world’s greatest artists and we and his thousands and thousands of fans here will miss seeing him tour down under.”
Neil will turn 77 tomorrow (24.01.18) and will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Recording Academy on Sunday (28.01.18).