Neil Diamond working to return to music despite Parkinson's diagnosis

Neil Diamond performing on the 'Today' show as part of the Toyota Concert Series in New York City. When: 20 Oct 2014 Credit: PNP/

(WENN) -- Neil Diamond has confirmed he is working hard to get back onstage following his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The 77-year-old singer announced his retirement from touring following his diagnosis of the disease in January, but has now insisted he’s keen to get back to his musical roots if his health permits.

"Well, I’m doing pretty well. I’m active, I take my meds, I do my workouts. I’m in pretty good shape. I want to stay productive. I still have my voice. I just can’t do the traveling that I once did, but I have my wife there supporting me (and) friends," he shared in an interview with The Associated Press. "It does have its challenges, but I’m feeling good and I feel very positive. I’m feeling better every day. Just dealing with it as best I can, and just keep the music coming."

The Sweet Caroline hitmaker has only given one-song performances since his Parkinson’s diagnosis, including at the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June and, last month, for firefighters battling a blaze near his Colorado home. While he admitted he’s unsure if he can perform a longer set at the moment, he reasoned that the only way he could find out "is to actually do it".

"But I think I can and I will give it a try at some point," he added. "I’m glad to still be around. The fact that I’m still singing well is a bonus and I hope to continue doing it, but in a format that I can handle."

However, fans will be able to relive a full set from the icon with his upcoming live concert CD/DVD, Hot August Night III, which documents his return to the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in August 2012. The two-hour performance, featuring 33 songs celebrating the 40th anniversary of his original Hot August Night Live album, also recorded at the venue in 1972, is set to be released on Friday.

"It brings back memories - very deep, loving and warm memories," he said of his performance. "Playing there and doing music relating to the audience, it was special. It’s a special experience for me."

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