Neil Diamond or more appropriately, Neil Leslie Diamond was born on January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York. He and another well known singer, Barbra Streisand were classmates when they attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn. They were however not very close according to Neil Diamond.
Diamond was supposed to be trained as a doctor when he attended New York University as a pre-med major. However, music and writing songs was his first love and he skipped classes to pursue what he liked most. Just before he was to graduate, he got an offer from Sunbeam Music Publishing for a 6-week job writing songs that pays $50 a week.
Neil Diamond accepted the offer and eventually dropped out of college and started his career in music that would span more than 5 decades.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Additionally, he received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and in 2011 was an honoree at Kennedy Center. On the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, he has had eleven No. 1 singles: “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”, “Heartlight” and “I’m a Believer”. He continues to record and release new material and maintains an extensive touring schedule.