Neil Diamond, 81, stole the show at the Boston Red Sox game on Saturday night, June 18. The iconic musician performed an impromptu sing-along to his beloved song “Sweet Caroline” during the eighth inning at Fenway Park. Neil, who retired in 2018 after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, wore a Red Sox jacket and hat as he sang to the crowd, who enthusiastically belted out the anthem with him. So epic!
Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway Park is incredible 🎤 🙌 pic.twitter.com/P1yRDJR5ho
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 19, 2022
Unfortunately, the Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 11-2. But Boston fans were overjoyed to have Neil there in person performing the classic hit. “Sweet Caroline” has been played during the eight inning of every Red Sox home game since 1996. The last time Neil performed the song at Fenway Park was in 2013 following the Boston Marathon Bombing. He also sang “Sweet Caroline” at the Red Sox’s 2010 season opener.
In 2020, Neil sang an acoustic version of “Sweet Caroline” to lift spirits at the height of the COVID-19 quarantine. He surprised fans with a quick change-up of the lyrics to tie into what was happening with the pandemic. “Hands, washing hands/Reaching out, don’t touch me me, I won’t touch you,” Neil sang. He also performed the 1969 tune right before the country went into lockdown at Keep Memory Alive‘s 24th annual Power of Love Gala, which marked one of his first live performances following his Parkinson’s diagnosis.
Neil announced his retirement in a statement in January 2018. He explained that his diagnosis “made it difficult to travel and perform on a large-scale basis.” However, the Grammy Award winner did promise that he’d “remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”