Neil Diamond was among those honoured in Washington over the weekend, the performer receiving one of the most prestigious arts awards in America after being given a Kennedy Center Honour alongside actress Meryl Streep, jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins, cellist Yo-yo Ma and Broadway legend Barbara Cook. There was a special poignancy for the 69 year-old - hosting the ceremony was former president John F. Kennedy's daughter Caroline Kennedy, of whom his famous hit 'Sweet Caroline' is named after.
At a star-studded event which saw current President Barack Obama and wife Michelle attend, and tribute performances by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Herbie Hancock, Robert De Niro and Tracey Ullman, it was Diamond who was singled out by Kennedy, The Associated Press reporting that she described him as "a Brooklyn lad with a gift of melody who grew into a solitary man, 'reaching out, touching me," to fond laughs from the audience. It didn't end there either as a rendition of the famous track prompted a warm sing along from the gathered guests, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It just goes to show that the veteran singer is still as in demand as ever, something that's been given further credence by the fact that he'll be back on tour again next year with a 16 date jaunt planned across America starting on June 1st in Ft. Lauderdale and finish up in Las Vegas on September 1st 2012.