Diamond, near 70, still singing fit

By Russell Baillie

If you didn't see Neil Diamond in his 70s heyday, you still can - it's just that now it's his 70s heyday.

The pop great becomes a septuagenarian in January, a month before he plays three New Zealand shows. Not that he's feeling his age.

"I don't feel any different. I'm active. I'm healthy. I am singing well," Diamond told the Herald from Los Angeles.

Diamond, who last played in Wellington in 2005, will play two nights at Auckland's Vector Arena on February 26 and 28, as well as a capital city show on March 4 at the Westpac Stadium, where he performed in 2005.

"We are going to give it our best shot. The audiences down there have always been very kind to me and we'll try to repay that.

"I do remember the audiences. I do remember the enthusiasm and I do remember thinking, 'I must come back here'."

The tour comes on the back of a purple patch in his recording career.

His 2008 self-penned album Home Before Dark was his first number one long-player in the United States, while his imminent new album Dreams, which has Diamond covering the Beatles, the Eagles, Leonard Cohen as well as reinterpreting his own Monkees hit I'm a Believer, is tipped to be an end-of-year big seller.

Tickets for Diamond's New Zealand shows go on sale on Tuesday November 9.

- NZ Herald

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