Neil opens a 37-city North American tour in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Billboard publishes full-page ad congratulating Neil on his #1 album, “Home Before Dark,” contributed by Neil’s fans from around the world.

Unprecedented in music history, Neil offers refunds to disappointed concertgoers in Columbus, Ohio, for a sub-par performance caused by acute laryngitis.

Inspired by storm-ravaged Oak Island, Texas, during Hurricane Ike, Neil begins a personal campaign whereby 100% of all merchandise sales from the remainder of his current tour (20 concerts totaling nearly two million dollars) is used to build new homes for 14 families displaced by the storm.

Neil begins Twittering.

The “Home Before Dark” tour ends in Portland, Oregon.

Neil is saluted by his peers in the music industry at the annual pre-Grammy Awards MusiCares dinner and concert in Los Angeles, performing some of his best-known songs and thanking his mother and kids who were in the audience. Neil’s commitment to hurricane relief in Oak Island, Texas, helped to earn the MusiCares honor.

Neil attends the Grammy ceremonies in Los Angeles where he performs Sweet Caroline.

Neil announces the birth of his sixth grandchild (third granddaughter), Charlie.

Neil signs a new, five-year contract with Columbia Records.

Neil performs on the Boston Pops’ “Pop Goes The Fourth” CBS-TV special, singing “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Sweet Caroline” and “America.”

CBS airs “Neil Diamond: Hot August Night: NYC,” a special that takes an intimate look at the man behind the music as he visits his hometown, Brooklyn, New York.

Over six million people view the special, which wins the Nielsen ratings for the Friday night 8PM time slot.

Columbia Records/SONY Music Entertainment releases “Neil Diamond: Hot August Night: NYC,” a full concert DVD recorded at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in August 2008, which debuts at #2 on the Billboard Hot 200.

The first of 14 families moves into an Oak Island, Texas, home, built with funds from 100% gross sales from tour merchandise sold during 20 of Neil’s 2008/2009 concerts.