Skip to main content

Biography of Neil Diamond - Singer and Songwriter

Nithya Venkat enjoys listening to music. She believes knowing the artist gives a deeper meaning to their songs.

Neil Diamond - Singer & Songwriter

Neil Diamond - Singer & Songwriter

Neil Diamond, a singer, and songwriter captivated the world with his songs, lyrics, and stage performances. He enthralled the world with his compositions and captured the hearts of millions worldwide; 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.

Early Life of Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Rose and Akeeba Diamond. He attended Erasmus High School and studied 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 was awarded a scholarship that helped him to get into New York University.

His grandmother died of cancer when he was a young boy. 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 first job as a songwriter.

Heart Aches and Heart Breaks

In 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 from 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 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

Neil Diamond's Musical Journey - Highlights of His Career

Neil Diamond's first recording was with Jack Parker, his high school friend, in 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 with Sunbeam Music on Manhattan's Tin Pan Alley for a salary of $50 a week. In this job, he worked on improving the songs of other singers. Neil Diamond was unhappy 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 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 1965, Neil Diamond wrote the song Sunday and Me for the pop group Jay and the Americans, which became a great success. He followed this up with songs 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 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 which became 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.

Scroll to Continue

The year 1969 was an excellent 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 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 gave many live performances.

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

In 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 became 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 recuperating, he acted in The Jazz Singer movie, which was a big flop. After this, Neil Diamond never acted again, but he wrote many film in collaboration with other artists.

After 1979, Neil Diamond continued writing songs, producing albums, and giving live performances. His musical journey has never stopped and continues even today.

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 on the UK Singles Chart
  3. "Play Me" (1972) was not well received and criticized; the song reached No.11 on the US charts.
  4. "I Am, I Said" (1971) took four months for Neil Diamond to complete this song, reaching 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 called 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, reaching 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 featured in The Jazz Singer; Neil Diamond acted in this movie. Though the film was a flop, the song became a big hit and climbed to No.2 on the Billboard charts and No.17 on the UK charts.
  10. "I am a Believer," released in 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.

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

Neil Diamond captured the hearts of many people across the world. He continues to awe his fans with his songs. His songs are evergreen and will live on forever in the music world.


The Telegraph - Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond - Biography

Neil Diamond - the artist

Billboard - Neil Diamond

© 2015 Nithya Venkat


Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on October 21, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on October 21, 2015:

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 from Saginaw, Michigan on October 20, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 21, 2015:

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

Martie Coetser from South Africa on May 20, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 30, 2015:

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

Amelia Griggs from U.S. on April 29, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 16, 2015:

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!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 16, 2015:

This is the first bio I have read of him for whatever reason. I always have adored his 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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 14, 2015:

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

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on April 13, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 15, 2015:

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

Thelma Alberts from Germany on March 15, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 13, 2015:

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

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on March 11, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on March 01, 2015:

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

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on March 01, 2015:

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!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 27, 2015:

FlourishAnyway am surprised too, thank you for stopping by.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 26, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 25, 2015:

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.

Suzie from Carson City on February 25, 2015:

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

travmaj from australia on February 25, 2015:

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.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 25, 2015:

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

Nell Rose from England on February 25, 2015:

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

Mary Craig from New York on February 25, 2015:

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.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 25, 2015:

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.

Debra Allen from West Virginia on February 25, 2015:

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 +++.

Bill from Greensburg Pennsylvania on February 25, 2015:

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.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 25, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 24, 2015:

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!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 24, 2015:

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.

Lori Colbo from United States on February 24, 2015:

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.

RoadMonkey on February 24, 2015:

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

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 24, 2015:

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..

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 24, 2015:

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.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on February 24, 2015:

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!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 24, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 24, 2015:

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.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on February 24, 2015:

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.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 24, 2015:

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!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 24, 2015:

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

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on February 23, 2015:

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.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 23, 2015:

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

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


John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 23, 2015:

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

John Hansen from Australia (Gondwana Land) on February 23, 2015:

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

Related Articles