For more than a half-century, he’s been known as “the Jewish Elvis.” Now, the life story of iconic singer-songwriter Neil Diamond will be told on the Great White Way.
The untitled Broadway musical project about the “Solitary Man” is still in its development stages, Deadline Hollywood reported.
“I’ve always loved Broadway,” Diamond, 78, said in a statement. “The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows like ‘West Side Story,’ ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ so it seems only fitting to bring my songs to the Great White Way.
“I’m honored and excited to be working with this great team.”
That team includes Anthony McCarten, screenwriter of the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Tony Award-winner producer Ken Davenport, Four Seasons founding member Bob Gaudio, and veteran director Michael Mayer.
Other music legends who recently received Broadway treatments of their life stories and bodies of work include Gloria Estefan, Donna Summer, Tina Turner and Cher.
Last January, Diamond announced he would give up touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring,” the artist said in a statement. “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come.”
Throughout his long career, Diamond has enjoyed 10 No. 1 singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, including “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” “I’ve Been This Way Before,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Desiree,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Yesterday’s Songs” and “Heartlight.”
Arguably, he might be best known for his crowd-pleasers “Cherry, Cherry,” “I’m a Believer” and “Sweet Caroline.”
Diamond also starred in the 1980 remake of “The Jazz Singer,” which garnered him three Top 10 singles: “Love on the Rocks,” “Hello Again” and “America.” In addition, he appeared in the Martin Scorsese concert film “The Last Waltz,” which was released in 1978.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and was honored at the Kennedy Center in 2011.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Diamond launched his career as a songwriter in the 1960s in the Brill Building songwriting factory, penning hits for groups like The Monkees. His songs have also been recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Deep Purple, UB40, Chris Isaak, Urge Overkill, Bobby Darin, and Paul Revere & the Raiders.
Blessed with a rich baritone, Diamond was a popular concert draw for decades, attracting generations of audiences with his lively onstage presence and showmanship.
Marcy Oster writes for the JTA international news agency and wire service.