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Biography of Neil Diamond - Singer and Songwriter

Updated on August 18, 2016
Neil Diamond - Singer & Songwriter
Neil Diamond - Singer & Songwriter | Source

Neil Diamond, a pop music singer and songwriter captivated the world with his songs, lyrics and stage performances. He wrote songs and composed music that took the world by storm. He continues to enthrall the world with his voice and brilliant music even today.

Sharing with you the biography of one of my favorite singers, the one, and only Neil Diamond, read on.

Young Neil Diamond
Young Neil Diamond | Source

Early Life of Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York to Rose and Akeeba Diamond. He attended Erasmus High School and went on to study at Abraham Lincoln High School to receive his high school diploma.

Neil Diamond excelled in fencing and was a member of the fencing team. As a result of his excellence in fencing, he got a scholarship and went to New York University with his fencing scholarship.

When he was very young, he was deeply affected when his grandmother died of cancer. This sad event made him decide that he wanted to become a biologist to find a cure for cancer. Fate chose otherwise.

Neil Diamond did not complete his studies at NYU; he wanted to pursue a career in music. In 1960, he took up an offer to write songs for $50; this was his very fist job as a songwriter.

Heart Aches and Heart Breaks

In the year 1963, Neil Diamond married his classmate Jaye Posner, who studied with him in high school and had two daughters Marjorie and Eyln. Their marriage did not last long; the pair divorced in 1965.

He then met Marcia Murphy, a production assistant at ABC television and fell in love with her. He married her in 1969, and they had two children Jesse and Michah. This marriage was not meant to last; Neil Diamond divorced Marcia Murphy in 1994.

After the divorce with, Marcia he met Rae on his tour to Australia in 1996. This relationship was short lived. After this breakup, Neil Diamond fell in love with Katie. Katie entered his life when his career was not doing so well.

Neil Diamond stated that his busy schedule was to blame for the failure of both his marriages. Neil Diamond believed in love and never gave up. At the age of 71, Neil Diamond married his manager Katie McNeil 41 years of age on April 21, 2012.

Neil Diamond Wedded in Bliss
Neil Diamond Wedded in Bliss | Source

Neil Diamond's Musical Journey - Highlights of His Career

Neil Diamond's very first recording was with Jack Parker, his high school friend in the year 1960. He recorded two singles (You Are My Love At Last b/w What Will I Do, and I'm Afraid b/w Till You've Tried Love). Both these singles did not do well.

Neil Diamond took up a job was with Sunbeam Music on Manhattan’s Tin Pan Alley for a salary of $50 for a week. In this job, he worked on improving the songs of other singers. Neil Diamond was not happy and soon quit this job and rented a storage room in a printer’s shop. This place was located just above the Birdland Nightclub on Broadway. It was here that Neil Diamond began to write songs in his signature style.

In the year 1962, Diamond signed a contract with Columbia Records and released the single At Night b/w Clown Town in 1963. Clown Town did not do very well, and soon Columbia Records dropped him from their label.

In the year 1965, Neil Diamond wrote the song Sunday and Me for the pop group Jay and the Americans that went on to become a great success. He followed this up with songs that he wrote for The Monkees (pop/rock band) such as I'm a Believer, A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You, Look Out and Love to Love.

In the year 1966, Neil Diamond released his first album The Feel of Neil Diamond with Bert Bern's Bang records that featured hit songs such as Solitary Man and Cherry Cherry.

During the year 1967, he recorded several songs for The Monkees. One of the songs that he wrote for The Monkees was I am a Believer went on to become a big hit.

In the year 1969, Neil Diamond split with Bang Records. After this split, he entered into a contract with Uni Label of California. He recorded many songs with Uni Label.

The year 1969 was a great year for Neil Diamond. It was during this period Neil Diamond released super hit songs such as Sweet Caroline and Holly Holly. The album Touching You, Touching Me reached the gold status the same year.

Neil Diamond appeared on many TV shows such as Dick Clark’s New American Bandstand in 1965, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show and the Mannix Show.

In 1971, Neil Diamond signed on with Columbia Records. During this time, he was flooded with more recording contracts, and he gave many live performances.

Neil Diamond concerts in The Greek Theater and The Winter Garden Theater, in New York City, were super hits and all tickets were sold out. After this Neil Diamond took a break from touring.

In the year 1973, he wrote the music for the film Jonathan Livingston for which he won a Grammy Record. Though the movie did not fare well, the song went on to become a big hit. Neil Diamond was asked to act in many movies, but he declined.

In 1979, Neil Diamond had a tumor removed from his spine. This operation confined him to a wheelchair for three months. After he had recuperated he acted in a movie called The Jazz Singer, this movie was a big flop. After this Neil Diamond never acted again but he wrote the scores for many movies in collaboration with other artists.

After the year 1979, Neil Diamond continued to write songs, produce albums and give live performances. His musical journey has never stopped and still continues even today.

Neil Diamond in 1972
Neil Diamond in 1972 | Source
Neil Diamond Performing
Neil Diamond Performing | Source

Neil Diamond's Top Ten Songs

  1. Sweet Caroline (1969) was a big hit with the crowds and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Charts and No. 8 on the UK charts. He wrote this song about Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F.Kennedy.
  2. Song Sung Blue (1972), the second number 1 hit in the US that reached No.14 in the UK Singles Chart
  3. Play Me (1972) was not well received and criticized still the song reached No.11 in US charts.
  4. I Am, I Said (1971) took four months for Neil Diamond to complete this song and it reached No.4 on the US charts. This was a dramatic song with the signature style of Neil Diamond.
  5. Stones released in 1971 was a beautiful song that Neil Diamond referred to as a “desperate love song”. This song was all about broken relationships.
  6. Cracklin Rose released in 1970 was Neil Diamond’s first No.1 hit in the US, and this song was on the Top 40 list for 14 weeks.
  7. Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon released in 1967 was written especially for teenage girls, and it reached No.10 on the charts.
  8. You don’t bring me flowers was released in 1968; Neil Diamond sang this song with Barbara Streisand. This song climbed to No.1 on the charts and stayed in the Top 40 for 15 weeks.
  9. Love on the rocks released in 1980 is a ballad that featured in the film The Jazz Singer; Neil Diamond acted in this movie. Though the movie was a flop, the song became a big hit and climbed to No.2 on the Billboard charts and No.17 in the UK charts.
  10. I am a Believer released in the year 1966 was written by Neil Diamond when he was still struggling to make his name as a famous singer and songwriter. He wrote this song for the Monkees. This song became a No.1 hit and sold ten million copies.

Source -http://www.commdiginews.com/entertainment/music/neil-diamonds-top-ten-songs-a-happy-birthday-list-of-ten-6791/

Neil Diamond - Ever Shining Star

In the year 2014, Neil Diamond signed on with Capitol Records and released the studio album Melody Roads produced by Don Was assisted by Jacknife Lee. Both Don Was and Jacknife Lee coaxed Neil Diamond to start writing songs just like he used to in the height of his career. These songs reflected some of his past life experiences.

Neil Diamond captured hearts of many people across the world. He still continues to awe his fans each and every time he releases an album or performs live. His songs are evergreen and will live on forever in the music world.

References

http://iaisnd.com/archivednews.cfm?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/rockandpopfeatures/8754848/Neil-Diamond-the-loves-of-a-lifelong-Mr-Lonely.html

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004871/bio

http://www.allmusic.com/album/melody-road-mw0002724376

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6472896/neil-diamond-melody-road-tour-interview

http://musiced.about.com/od/songwriters/p/neildiamond.htm

http://www.commdiginews.com/entertainment/music/neil-diamonds-top-ten-songs-a-happy-birthday-list-of-ten-6791/


Which song is your favorite?

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful hub Vellur. Always loved Neil Diamond growing up. I did have the "Hot August Night" album. Thanks for the memories. Voted up.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wonderful hub Vellur. Always loved Neil Diamond growing up. I did have the "Hot August Night" album. Thanks for the memories. Voted up.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great guy to write about! Hard to pick just one of his songs!

      Glad he finally found happiness...with a lady that is.

      ^+

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Jodah thank you, I grew up listening to his songs and his magic never dies.

      Jackie I agree it is hard to pick just one of his songs, thank you for stopping by.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a reminder of some of our old favourites. Enjoyed reading about Neil's life.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Great hub about a great celebrated singer, Neil Diamond. Very informative hub about the life and times of Neil Diamond. Lovely songs, difficult to choose one.

      Thanks for sharing this interesting hub. Voted up!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I saw ND when he first began touring. I'd never heard of him, but got tickets anyway when he performed in W. Palm Beach (can't remember the year). I knew then he was headed for stardom!

      I can't really pick a favorite, cause I love every song he recorded. I saw "The Jazz Singer, and enjoyed that.

      Voted UP, and shared.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      aesta1 glad that you enjoyed.

      ChitrangadaSharan thank you for reading and your appreciation.

      mary615 yes it is difficult to choose one. It must have been great to see him perform live. Thank you for the vote up and share.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I actually saw him in concert when I was in college in 1968....so obviously I've always liked him. Good mini biography here, Vellur.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      I'm glad to have learned about Neil's early life. He was a very prolific songwriter and singer. His songs are all classics and always good to hear . Thank you!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      billybuc thank you, it must have been great to see him perform!

      word55 thank you for reading and yes all his songs are timeless classics.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a great share Vellur. I've always liked his songs. I didn't know that he wrote, ' Sweet Caroline ' for President Kennedy's daughter. Glad to know he's still performing. Thank you. Well done..

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 2 years ago

      Love that Cracklin Rose song! Love a lot of the others too.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      O idolized Neil Diamon and had all of his records as a teenager. The Jazz Singer was a flop, but I really enjoyed the movie. His forte, of course, is songwriting and singing. His songs seem to reveal he has a deep soul. Such a handsome and talented man. I would like to get his recent album. The only work he ever did that I did not like was his Christmas album. There are just some voices that don't lend well to Christmas. Nonetheless, he da man.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for this informative hub, Vellur. It was very interesting to learn about Neil Diamond's life and his link with the Monkees. It's great to hear that he's still singing and performing.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      always exploring thank you, he has countless fans and I am one of them just like you.

      RoadMonkey his songs are great and difficult to choose just one.

      lambservant his forte is singing and songwriting. I understand only certain voices lilt to the tune of Christmas.

      AliciaC thank you and yes he never stops!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up , awesome and interesting. How I love Neil Diamond and his music. Thank you for posting this and passing it on and on.

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      I have had the pleasure to see him in concert live 2 different time. He is an Amazing performer. I did not know that he had written song for the monkeys.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 2 years ago from West By God

      I love this singer and all his songs. He is very respectible in his field and in his demanor that shows to the public. Thank you for posting this and sharing with us here on Hubpages. I am sharing this and have voted +++.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Gypsy Rose Lee thank you for your lovely comment, vote up and share.

      handymanbill it must have been great to watch him in concerts. He is amazing, thank you for stopping by.

      Lady Guinevere thank you for the vote up and share, much appreciated.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Great hub, great singer, great songs. What else can I say about a man with a velvet voice and true talent for singing? What else can I say about a hub where you've certainly done your homework? Loved it.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and beautiful.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hiya, great hub! I grew up listening to his songs over here in England, my mum was a great fan of his so she would be singing all around the house his songs all day! lol! great to learn about his life, nell

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A great singer, my dad enjoys listening to Neil Diamond.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Great hub, what a performer, what nostalgic memories this brought back. I was lucky enough to see him on stage many years ago. I also see he's performing here in Australia this year. Still going strong, what a talent.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      My goodness, those photos of Neil so young just blew me away!! I've always liked him. He does the type of music that lasts forever. Great tribute to him! He married again at 71 to a woman 30 yrs younger??! Only in Show business!! LOL.....He's still a handsome man. Really enjoyed this!...Up+++pinned & tweeted

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      tillsontitan velvet voice says it all! Thank you for your appreciation and many vote ups.

      Nell Rose thank you once his songs get into your head it never gets out!

      DDE thank you great that your dad is a Neil Diamond fan.

      travmaj you must have enjoyed watching him perform! Yes he is going to perform this year.

      fpherj48 oh yes his music lasts forever and so does his belief in love!! Glad you enjoyed, thank you for the vote up, pin and tweet.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      Glad to know that he's still using his talent, although I'm a little surprised at his marrying of a woman 30 years his junior. My favorite song was "You Don't Bring Me Flowers.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      FlourishAnyway am surprised too, thank you for stopping by.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      My Dad was a big Neil Diamond fan and I grew up listening to him. His songs still have a special place in my heart. Nice work!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Mel Carriere thank you the magic of his songs never die.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Great bio of an exceptional performer. Neil Diamond's voice gets me every time, he really shined in the Jazz Singer. Nice job.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      tobusiness thank you for taking the time to read, much appreciated.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      OMG! I have not heard his songs for ages. I grow up with his songs and I love it. Thanks for the infos about him and for reminding me this wonderful singer and songwriter.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Thelma Alberts thank you and am glad my hub reminded you of this great singer.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub on Neil Diamond and his music. This is so interesting. I had no idea he was into fencing and went to college on a fencing scholarship. The photos of him as a youth are fascinating. Hard to believe we were all once that young. Sweet Caroline is my favorite song of his and really is throughout America. It is sung in nearly every bar/restaurant I have been to. You did a wonderful write here.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      suzettenaples thank you. Sweet Caroline is my favorite too. We were young those days! Now we are young in spirit!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      This is the first bio I have read of him for whatever reason. I always have adored his music...it just gains my attention and holds me spell bound.

      Thank you so much for sharing so much about an artist whose music will live long after his years on the planet end.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

      Voted up++++ and shared

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      pstraubie48 am happy you read about an artist that you admire so much. Neil Diamond's songs are captivating and evergreen. Thank you for the many votes and share. Thank you for the angels too!

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 2 years ago

      I do like Neil Diamond. For the songs listed above in your poll, I like one not on the list but you have a video of it, America. I looked it up before I scrolled down and saw your video and I just noticed there was a movie called the Jazz Singer when he sang the song, also starring Lucie Arnaz.

      Interesting hub. I also did not know about his failed relationships. Glad he finally married his love.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      easylearningweb thank you and yes America is one of his popular hit songs. Finally he found the love of his life.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Neil Diamond captured MY heart, and he is still #1 on my list of favorite singers. I adore him!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      MartieCoetser glad that you too are his fan! Thank you for your visit.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 19 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Vellur--I simply could not pass on this one! I discovered a ton of bio here that is good to know. I sang many of his songs in my band in the 60's and did see him on the 4th of July Concert at the Whitehouse. Fabulous as ever. Well done and FAV Like and the rest of it.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 19 months ago from Dubai

      Reynold Jay, it must have been great to see him perform! His songs are evergreen, and no even can ever forget them. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 19 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi Vellur--It was a television broadcast. They have a grand show every year on the public broadcasting network. AND Sweet Caroline was the grand finale. Not surprising when I see your poll ! Thanks for responding. RJ

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