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Neil Diamond Donating "Sweet Caroline" Royalties to Boston Marathon
By: Gary Graff

"Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Felt So Good)" has been the song gift that's kept giving for Neil Diamond -- and now he's using it as a gift for Boston Marathon bombing victims.

With sales of the song up 597 percent since the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performed it during an April 20 Red Sox game at Fenway Park -- where it's been adopted as a home team anthem -- Diamond has announced via Twitter he'll be donating future royalties to One Fund, a charity established to help victims of the April 15 blast that killed three and injured 175.

"Sweet Caroline," inspired by First Daughter Caroline Kennedy, was released in 1969 and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Diamond told us that the song has become bigger than he ever imagined when he wrote it:

"It took on a life of its own...There is a difference between a number one record and a record that stays around for almost 40 years. It took on a life of its own, and I was just hanging on for dear life...I think it kind of draws you in. It's easy to sing. Almost anyone can sing along with it. Almost anyone can sing the audience parts. It kind of draws you in. I think that's what people like about it."

"Sweet Caroline" has been released on several of Diamond's albums, most recently on the 2011 compilation "The Very Best of Neil Diamond: The Original Studio Recordings."

CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

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