Legendary singer, songwriter and musician Neil Diamond is 78 on the 24th of January.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Neil was given a guitar when he was sixteeen.
He took music lessons and began to write songs and poetry.
Neil gained a sports scholarship to university but was bored and began cutting classes to concentrate on his songwriting.
He dropped out of college after scoring a short term song writing job earning $50 per week.
His first break as a songwriter came in 1965 when his song Sunday and Me was recorded by Jay and the Americans and went Top 20.
Further success came when he wrote the hits I'm A Believer and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You for The Monkees.
In '66 he scored a record deal and released his first single At Night, but it failed to chart
His next single Solitary Man made a minor dent on the charts and his third single Cherry Cherry broke into the top 10.
Some of his other hits in the 60's included Shilo, Kentucky Woman, Sweet Caroline and Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon.
His double live album Hot August Night released in '72 became a huge seller and was Number One for 29 weeks in Australia.
His hit singles in the 70's included Cracklin' Rosie, I Am I Said, Song Sung Blue and You Don't Bring Me Flowers with Barbra Streisand.
The hits continued in the early 80's with Love On The Rocks, America and Hello Again.
Neil continued to tour and release new material in the 80's and 90's but his sales declined.
In 2005 his album 12 Songs was his biggest hit for 25 years going Top 5 and the follow up Home Before Dark topped the charts.
In January last year he announced his immediate retirement from touring and cancelled his planned tour of Australia due to Parkinson's Disease.
Neil was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.