Neil Leslie Diamond
January 24, 1941
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Neil Diamond is a legendary international singer-songwriter credited with over 115 million records sold.
Because of his father's work, Diamond lived in several homes as a youth and this may have been a handicap in some respects.
At 16, after watching a Pete Seeger performance, he bought a guitar and began singing and taking lessons on the instrument.
Diamond also developed an interest in fencing and, after his high school graduation in 1958, he entered New York University with a fencing scholarship.
Over the next few years, Diamond managed to maintain his status as a student at NYU but he wrote several songs and finally was awarded a contract with Columbia Records.
Even though Billboard Magazine gave Diamond a good review for one of his songs,
, sales were not good and Columbia dropped him as a solo singer.
Nevertheless, Diamond continued writing songs and several were picked by other artists such as Elvis Presley and the Monkees for recordings.
He was gaining a reputation as a song writer although it was through others singing his songs rather than his own solo recordings.
Finally, in 1966, Diamond recorded several of his songs for
, a subsidiary company of Atlantic Records with relative success.
He included one of his songs, "Solitary Man", which began his career as a prominent hit parade singing artist.
In 1968, Diamond expressed his discontent with Bang in that he felt his personal preference for recorded songs was being ignored.
Diamond left this record company to record for
, and for the next few years worked on songs to re-capture the success of Solitary.
He achieved that success in 1972 with a major hit called "Song Sung Blue" which was nominated as Song of the Year.
Through the courts, Diamond finally won the rights in 1977 to the masters of his songs he wrote for Bang.
Over the next three decades, songs written and sung by Diamond were also recorded by many top popular singers in recognition of Diamond's composing talent.
Diamond acted in and wrote the musical score for the the 1980 film, "The Jazz Singer", which won him a Grammy award.
Neil Diamond is a prolific song writer and Amusement Business Magazine named him as one of the top five Artists of the Decade in 1999.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
Songwriters Hall of Fame
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Last Updated: January 20, 2017
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