he first auditioned to record, his producers wanted him to change his name
so it would be less ethnized. The names Eice Cherry and Noah Kaminsky were
pondered, but, at the last moment Neil decided to keep his real name
stating that "How would I explain to my Grandmother about changing my
Neil Diamond married Jaye Posner and they had two
children, Marjorie and Elyn. They eventually divorced.
He signed a deal with Bang! Records, and
had a string of singles as the primary performer, including "Kentucky
Woman," "Cherry, Cherry," and "Solitary Man."
He moved to Los Angeles, California, in
1970, and signed a deal with MCA Records (then called Uni Records). His
sound mellowed, with such songs as "Sweet Caroline" and
"Song Sung Blue". "Sweet Caroline" has since become a
rallying cry of Red Sox Nation, however unlikely this may seem. Neil
Diamond married Marcia Murphey, whom he had met while doing a television
appearance. They had two sons, Jesse Michael Diamond born in 1970 and
Micah Diamond, born February 14, 1978. Neil and Marcia divorced in 1995.
In 1973, Diamond hopped labels again, this
time to Columbia Records, where he recorded the soundtrack to Jonathan
Livingston Seagull. In 1974, he released the album Serenade
(songs: "Longfellow Serenade", "I've Been This Way
Before"). In 1976, he released Beautiful Noise, produced by The
Band's Robbie Robertson.
In 1977, he released an album I'm Glad
You're Here With Me Tonight, which included the track "You Don't
Bring Me Flowers". The song was covered by Barbra Streisand on her
album Songbird, which led one disc jockey to combine the two in a
virtual duet. The popularity of the virtual duet motivated Neil Diamond and
Barbara Streisand to record the real thing, which became a very large hit in 1978.
A movie version of the song (starring Diamond and Streisand) was planned,
but plans fell through when Diamond starred in a remake of the Al Jolson
classic The Jazz Singer in 1980, opposite Sir Laurence Olivier and
Though the movie was not a blockbuster hit
at the box office, the soundtrack was a hugely successful album, spawning
the singles "America," "Love On The Rocks," and
"Hello Again." This would be the apex of his recording career.
In 2000, he was awarded the Sammy Cahn
Lifetime Achievement Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In recent years, there has been a
resurgence in Diamond's popularity. His songs have have become nearly
iconic. The 2001 comedy film Saving Silverman (starring Jack Black)
plays up this theme. The main characters play in a Neil Diamond cover
band, and Neil Diamond makes a cameo appearance.
Today, Diamond continues to tour, and still
releases new studio and live compilation box sets of his greatest hits,
and most recently recorded an album of movie songs. He is currently
recording a new album entitled 12 Songs with producer Rick Rubin. It is
expected to be released on November 8, 2005.
As of May 2005 he has sold 120 million
records worldwide (Source: NY Times), including 50 million records in US
Bio From: Wikipedia