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Neil Diamond

(January 24, 1941)
Neil Diamond

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Diamond is probably the most famous Jewish male musician. He is known in some circles as "The Jewish Elvis."
He began his career as a songwriter, working in New York City near the end of the Tin Pan Alley era in the mid-'60s. His songs were recorded by Jay and the Americans, Cliff Richard and The Monkees.
He went to Erasmus high school in Brooklyn, New York, where he sang in the chorus with Barbra Streisand (they never spoke). He later went to Abraham Lincoln High, which is where he graduated. Carole King and Neil Sedaka also went there.
Unlike many Rock Stars, Diamond tends to stay out of trouble. Will Ferrell used to imitate him on Saturday Night Live, poking fun of his mild demeanor in bits where he would use crude language and talk about things like hanging his agent out of the Brill building.
Neil Diamond is his real name, but despite this good fortune, he considered using that stage names Eice Cherry and Noah Kaminsky.
He wears shiny shirts adorned with beads on stage. This can come off as cheesy, but he does it to make himself easier to see.
According to Amusement Business magazine, Diamond was the top solo concert act of the '90s. (thanks to David Wild, author of He Is...I Say: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond, for all above)
In 1968, Neil Diamond and Bert Berns, founder of Bang Records, had a disagreement about the path Neil Diamond's career was to follow, and as a result, Berns refused to release the song "Shilo" as a single. After a heated confrontation, Neil Diamond left Bang Records and signed on with Uni Records.

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What famous singer was once the opening act for another band, but not as a singer - as a mime?
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Comments:

Diamond also received Kennedy Center Honors and the award in 2011.
- coy, Palestine, TX
Neil Diamond is behind only Elton John and Barbra Streisand in popular record sales with between 150-200 million records sold to date.
- coy, Palestine, TX
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