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Neil Diamond

"Neil Leslie Diamond" (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer/songwriter who had a number of hits in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and who maintains a very loyal following with popular live performances to this day.

Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, attending Abraham Lincoln High School with Barbra Streisand (and singing with her in the school choir). He learned to play guitar after receiving one as a gift on his 16th birthday.

He held on to his Canadian roots, however, even trying out (albiet unsucessfully) for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

He spent his early career as a writer in the Brill Building, and had an early success writing the songs "I'm a Believer" and "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" for The Monkees.

Neil married school teacher Jaye Posner and they had two children, Marjorie and Elyn. They eventually divorced.

Diamond’s first recording contract was in 1960 with “Duel” records, as “Neil and Jack" an Everly Brothers type duo, with a high school friend Jack Packer, together released “What Will I Do”. In 1962 he signed with Columbia for the first time as a recording artist, for a single release of “At Night”...

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source: Wikipedia