Grapevine: Neil Diamond launches 50th anniversary tour

Neil Diamond launches 50th anniversary tour

Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Neil Diamond will celebrate his five decade-long musical career with The 50 Year Anniversary World Tour. The tour, announced Wednesday by Live Nation, kicks off in Fresno, California, on April 7 and will stop at The Palace of Auburn Hills on June 2. Tickets, $49.50-$150, go on sale at Dec. 9. Diamond, 75, has sold over 125 million albums worldwide and charted 37 Top 40 singles. In 1974, he won a Grammy and Golden Globe for his original score for the movie “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” In 2011, Diamond received the 2011 Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime of contributions to American culture. In an 2014 Associated Press interview, Diamond said performing is his favorite part of the job. “There’s no discipline involved. It’s the only time nobody can reach me on the phone. It’s got all kinds of benefits, not the least of which is having an audience that’s enthusiastic and that’s come from all over to hear what you’ve got to sing that night. It’s an amazing process,” he said, adding that he doesn’t “adore” songwriting as much. “The only time you enjoy writing a song is when you finish it.”

Stars & Stripes booted from Freedom Hill

Organizers of the Stars & Stripes Festival at Freedom Hill have been told by Palace Sports & Entertainment to find a new home for their popular summertime event this year. “Stars & Stripes Festival will not be returning to Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill in 2017 and we are actively pursuing concert bookings for those dates,” said The Palace in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. “We engaged Funfest Productions with a proposal to jointly operate the festival and keep it at Freedom Hill, but an agreement that satisfied both organizations could not be reached.”

Funfest Productions has organized the free Fourth of July weekend festival for the past decade, and moved it from downtown Mount Clemens to Freedom Hill in 2013. Funfest President Joe Neiporte says he was hoping Freedom Hill, which has been managed by Palace Sports & Entertainment since 2015, would be the permanent home for Stars & Stripes. “Our home base is in Macomb County,” Neiporte said in a statement released Wednesday. “We are saddened by this news and the loss to the local community and charities that have been involved with us from the beginning.”

It’s likely that Stars & Strips will leave Macomb County. Funfest Events has been negotiation with other sites to hold the event, and top options are all in Oakland County. According to Funfest, Stars & Stripes draws more than 500,000 people per year and has helped raise $500,000 for non-profit charities since its inception. The event has fireworks, a carnival and free concerts with local and national acts. Last summer headliners included classic rockers Styx, Michigan-based country/rock group Uncle Kracker and rock band Seether. Funfest, which was hired to manage and reopen Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in 2013 says the festival was profitable for the venue’s owners.

Kanye West breakdown triggered by anniversary of mother’s death

A week after Kanye West was hospitalized after having what is described as a “nervous breakdown,” TMZ reports that sources say his emotional trauma was triggered by the anniversary of his mother’s death. She died in 2007, and the anniversary of her funeral was Nov. 20, the date he canceled his show at the Los Angeles Forum, and then canceled the remainder of his tour the next day (including his Dec. 22 date at The Palace of Auburn Hills). As of Wednesday, there was no date set for West’s release from UCLA Medical Center.

Also …

Matt Lauer has re-signed his contract with “Today” show, Page Six reports. He’ll remain as co-host for two more years at a cool $20 million per year.

■Comedian Chris Tucker will perform at the Fox Theatre at 8 p.m. Jan. 21. Tucker is known for his role as Det. James Carter in the “Rush Hour” series and starred in Russell Simmons’ HBO comedy show “Def Comedy Jam” in the 1990s. Tickets, $45.50, $55.50 and $75.50, go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster.

■Actors Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski are expecting their first child. The couple has been engaged since September, according to People magazine.

Compiled by Stephanie Steinberg and Melody Baetens

Thursday’s Birthdays

Woody Allen, 81

Bette Midler, 71

Deep Roy, 59

Sarah Silverman, 46

Janelle Monae, 31

Zoe Kravitz, 28