LOS ANGELES (AFP)
US musical icon Neil Diamond -- whopenned and sang hits like "Sweet Caroline" and "Red Red Wine" -- crowned his nearly five-decade career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
"This is probably the most fun," the 71-year-old singer told reporters after the ceremony.
"I didn't have to campaign for it. They wanted me. They opened their arms and took me in, and that makes it all the better."
The star with Diamond's name can be found on Vine Street, in front of Los Angeles's landmark Capital Records Building, a day before the artist launches a series of concerts at the city's Greek Theater.
Born in New York in 1941, Diamond has sold over 125 million albums worldwide.
Fifty-six of his songs have made Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 list of the most heard songs, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
"He is one of those people, rare in entertainment, who America loves," said renowned composer Randy Newman at the ceremony, comparing him to Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.
Diamond just released a deluxe edition of his album "Hot August Night", celebrating the 40-year anniversary of its first release.
Anyone can nominate an artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but the celebrity must approve the request.
Each star on the Walk of Fame costs $30,000, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers them. The amount is usually paid by a movie or television studio or a record label, which is why the ceremonies often coincide with the launch of a new product.
The ceremonies are open to the public, allowing fans to get an up-close glimpse of their favorite artists.