Neil Diamond beginning North American tour in July

Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:23am EDT
 
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By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - With a new album due out in three weeks, Neil Diamond is getting ready to hit the road for the first time since 2005.

He will begin a 37-city tour of North America on July 19 in St. Paul, Minn. It wraps October 30 in Jacksonville, Fla. The trek follows a European tour that kicks off May 24 in Rotterdam.

Diamond, 67, will be promoting "Home Before Dark," his second album with producer Rick Rubin. It is set for U.S. release on May 6 via Columbia Records. Their previous collaboration, "12 Songs," came out in 2005 to wide acclaim.

Diamond just completed several weeks of rehearsal with his touring band, and told Billboard.com he could not wait to get back on stage.

"I always like to include songs I haven't done in the show in awhile," he said, declining to reveal specifics. "We just took out one of the songs we'd been using in the show as part of the rehearsals and replaced it with something that was better-suited and I had definitely wanted to do but couldn't find a place for."

Diamond's last tour in 2005 grossed nearly $80 million from 86 shows that drew 1.2 million people, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Neil Diamond performs in a file photo. With a new album due out in three weeks, Neil Diamond is getting ready to hit the road for the first time since 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>