Genre: Pop, Rock
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Awards: 1 Grammy Award, Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award
Albums: Just For You, Gold, Stones, You Dont Bring Me Flowers
Hits: "Cracklin Rosie", "Song Sung Blue", "Love on the Rocks"
Other: Elvis Presley and Deep Purple have both covered Neil Diamond songs.
Ever since he hit the scene in the early 1960s, Neil Diamond has been an American pop culture giant and has made an indelible impact on the music industry. Diamond's refreshing blend of pop and folk rock has helped him garner international fame with more than 92 million records sold worldwide, netting 35 Top 40 singles.
Diamond got his start as a songwriter for myriad record labels and his big break came with the 1967 release of the Monkees No. 1 hit "I'm A Believer." The singer used his connections in the industry to get signed with Bang Records in 1965 and became an instant sensation. Between 1966-67 Diamond had a string of Top 20 hits such as "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," "Kentucky Woman" and "I Got the Feeling."
As Diamond made his mark with late '60s hits like "Sweet Caroline," "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," his albums began to take a softer tone while his live performances maintained their energetic nature. With the release of Hot August Night in 1972, the live album went on to become the best-selling album in Australia during that year and introduce a new wave of fans to his enthralling live performances.
After signing a record-breaking deal with Columbia Records in 1973, Diamond produced a slew of gold albums and recaptured his '60s sound with his album Beautiful Noise, which would remarkably be his 11th album in a row to go gold. Diamond's work on the soundtrack for the movie The Jazz Singer would prove to be one of his biggest successes. Singles "Love on the Rocks," "America" and "Hello, Again" would become fan favorites and would go platinum five times.
The 1980s were especially kind to Diamond as his legions of fans flocked to his yearly world tours even when his record sales largely stabilized. As he entered the 1990s, Diamond began experimenting with his trademark sound by venturing into the country charts with 1996's Tennessee Moon. While Diamond purists may have been a bit puzzled, critics warmly praised the album as Diamond returned to his roots as a folk singer and hailed his foray into a new and uncharted field.
Over the course of his remarkable career, Neil Diamond has compiled 18 platinum albums and ranks only behind Elton John and Barbra Streisand as one of the most successful adult contemporary artists of all time.