Diamond had a ceremony to receive as a star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in August 2012.
Neil Diamond has been married for the past three times. In the year 1963 got married his high school sweetheart, school teacher Jaye Posner; they had two daughters, Marjorie and Elyn, before they had separated in 1967 and had divorced in 1969.Neil Diamond then married Marcia Murphey, a production assistant; they also had two children, both sons, Jesse and Micah. Diamond’s second marriage ended in 1994.
On September 7, 2011, the same day he had learned he was to be a Kennedy Center Honoree, Diamond had announced his engagement to 41-year-old Katie McNeil in a message on Twitter. McNeil is Diamond’s manager and was the producer on the documentary Neil Diamond: Hot August Nights NYC.On April 21st, 2012, he had married McNeil in front of family and close friends in Los Angeles, in California.
Diamond was in a relationship with Australian Rae Farley that ended sometime before mid-2008. The two met in Brisbane, Australia, in 1996, and as of 2008 she ran his merchandising operation. The album was Home before Dark and was written during Farley’s struggles with severe chronic back pain, surgery and ongoing recovery. Diamond said, “She had back surgery and it wasn’t going well. She was in extreme pain for a year and the surgery did not really work. If anything, it made it worse. And I never that I left her side. I was within twenty feet of her for the entire year that I took writing this album.
In 1979, Diamond collapsed on stage in San Francisco and was taken to the hospital where he had endured a twelve-hour operation to remove what turned out to be a tumor on his spine. He said he had been losing feeling in his right leg “for a number of years but ignored it”. When he collapsed, he had no strength in either leg. He underwent a long rehabilitation process just prior to the beginning principal photography for his 1980 film The Jazz Singer. He was so convinced he was going to die, he even wrote farewell letters to his friends. As of 2008, Diamond still suffered from chronic, and often severe, back pain.
Diamond is known for wearing colorful beaded shirts in concert. Diamond had said that this was originally done out of necessity, so everyone in the audience could see him without the aid of binoculars. Bill Whitten had designed and made the shirts for Diamond from the 1970s until about 2007.
Early life and his education
Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family descended from Russian and Polish immigrants. His parents were Rose (née Rapaport) and Akeeba “Kieve” Diamond, a dry-goods merchant. Diamond grew up in several homes in Brooklyn, attending Abraham Lincoln High School.
At Lincoln, the school from which he received his high school diploma, he was a member of the fencing team. He later attended New York University on a fencing scholarship, specializing in saber, and was a member of the 1960 NCAA men’s championship team; into his adult life he maintained his swordsmanship skills and continued to warm up with fencing exercises before his concerts.
His life ambition was in medicine, as explained in a live interview with TV talk show host Larry King:
I actually wanted to be a laboratory biologist. I wanted to study. And I really wanted to find a cure for cancer. My grandmother had died of cancer. And I was always very good at the sciences. And I thought I would go and try and discover the cure for cancer.
However, during his senior year in New York University, a music publishing company made him an offer he could not refuse: an offer to write songs for $50 a week. This started him and led him on to the road to stardom.
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