Neil Diamond is one of the most iconic musicians and has been in the industry since the 60’s. The “Sweet Caroline” singer has spent a lot of his life in the spotlight; however, there are still some facts that many people do not know about him. With that in mind, here MusicSnake Magazine presents a list of fourteen facts you probably didn’t know about Neil Diamond.
Number One: Neil Diamond Had One of the Most Expensive Divorces in History. Diamond had to pay $150 million as part of a divorce settlement with ex-wife Marcia Murphey. This is one of the most expensive divorces in history.
Number Two: He Went to High School With Barbra Streisand. Diamond and Barbra Streisand recorded “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” together, but did you know they have another connection in common? They both attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, and they also both sang in the choir though they were not close friends.
Number Three: His Soundtrack for a Movie Was Bigger Than the Movie Itself. Diamond penned the soundtrack for 1973’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The soundtrack actually made more money than the movie!
Number Four: He Can Fence. It’s no secret that Diamond is a skilled musician, but he can also fence. He even won a fencing scholarship to New York University, and in 1960 he was part of their championship team. He eventually left NYU to pursue music, although he received an honorary degree from them in 2003.
Number Five: He Has Sold More Than 125 Million Records. This is impressive in and of itself, but he may be an even more accomplished songwriter. Even though he hates writing songs, he has made a living of it, and he even wrote “I’m a Believer,” which was made famous by The Monkees.
Number Six: He Played a Pretty Polarizing Role. Diamond played the character of Jess Robin in 1980’s The Jazz Singer. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance, but he also received a “Worst Actor” Golden Raspberry Award!
Number Seven: Sweet Caroline Is About a First Daughter. In ’07, Diamond admitted that arguably his most famous hit is about Caroline Kennedy. Diamond wrote the song after he saw the 11-year-old on the cover of Life Magazine wearing an equestrian outfit. Caroline Kennedy is the daughter of late former president JFK.
Number Eight: Diamond Is a Musical Legend. He has received a phenomenal 11 Grammy nominations, and he has also been inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
Number Nine: He Does Not Like Writing Songs. Though Diamond is a brilliant songwriter, he doesn’t actually enjoy the practice. He has even gone so far as to say that he absolutely hates it.
Number Ten: He Waited 42 Years Before One of His Albums Hit Number One. Diamond’s 2008 album, Home Before Dark, was the first of his to hit the number one spot on Billboard. Amazingly, it hit number one 42 years after the start of his career. He has released a total of 32 albums throughout his career.
Number Eleven: His First Number One Single Was Cracklin’ Rosie. Diamond earned his first number one single in 1970, with his hit, “Cracklin’ Rosie.” While he had racked up a number of hits before “Cracklin’ Rosie,” none of them made it to the number one slot.
Number Twelve: He Wanted to Be a Biologist. In a ’03 interview, Diamond admitted that he wanted to pursue medicine before he began his career as a musician. He was inspired to study medicine when he lost his grandmother to cancer. However, his path changed when he got a songwriting deal while at NYU.
Number Thirteen: He Almost Said No to Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino wanted to use “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman, Soon” for that iconic scene in Pulp Fiction where Uma Thurman lip syncs. However, it took a lot of convincing before Diamond agreed to let him use it.
Number Fourteen: He Almost Wasn’t Neil Diamond. Diamond was considering the names “Ice Charry” and “Noah Kaminsky” for his stage names before he decided on Neil Diamond. We’re glad he stuck with his own name. Thanks for reading!
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