Neil Diamond is one of pop music's most enduring and successful singer-songwriters. As a successful pop music performer, Diamond scored a number of hits worldwide in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. According to David Wild, common themes in Diamond's songs are: "A deep sense of isolation and an equal desire for connection. A yearning for home - and at the same time, the allure of greater freedom. The good, the bad and the ugly about a crazy little thing called love."
Critic William Ruhlmann wrote of Diamond, "As of 2001, he claimed worldwide record sales of 115 million copies, and as of 2002 he was ranked third, behind only Elton John and Barbra Streisand, on the list of the most successful adult contemporary artists in the history of the Billboard chart." As of May 2005[update] Diamond had sold 120 million records worldwide, including 48 million records in the U.S.
Though his record sales declined somewhat after the 1980s, Diamond continues to tour successfully, and maintains a very loyal following. Diamond's songs have been recorded by a vast array of performers from many different musical genres.
Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984, and in 2000 received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award.