Get to know Neil Diamond’s four kids: Marjorie, Elyn, Jesse and Micah
Neil Diamond keeps his personal life private, especially when it comes to his four children: Marjorie, Elyn, Jesse and Micah.
He shares daughters Marjorie and Elyn with his high school sweetheart and first wife, Jayne Posner, though their marriage ended in 1969. He then welcomed sons Jesse and Micah with his second wife, Marcia Murphey, whom he was married to for 25 years before their divorce in 1994.
The “Sweet Caroline” singer has shared how his career and strenuous touring schedule put a strain on his home life, including with his marriage and children.
“There were always tears. The kids cried, my wives cried, I cried,” Neil told 60 Minutes Australia in February 2020. “Somehow, they don’t remember that so much. But I walk around with a sense of guilt still because I left them more than I should have, but the work required it. It was that simple.”
To this day, Neil remains protective of his personal life. In April 1982, the singer got candid about his approach to parenting as a celebrity, telling PEOPLE, “The best thing I can do for my kids is give them a normal life, be supportive and let them find their own way.”
Julia Waters, who was one of Neil’s backup singers on his 50 Year Anniversary World Tour in 2017 and 2018, told PEOPLE, “He loves family, so our whole organization is like a big family.” This familial bond included Marjorie, Elyn, Jesse and Micah, who often cheer on their father at his shows with his third wife, Katie McNeil, whom he married in 2012.
Neil is also the proud grandfather to eight grandchildren, who range from school-age kids to young adults.
Read on to learn more about Neil Diamond’s four children: Marjorie, Elyn, Jesse and Micah.
Marjorie Diamond, 58
Neil and Posner welcomed their first child, daughter Marjorie Diamond, in 1965. Following her parents’ split, Marjorie and her younger sister Elyn lived in New York with their mother, while Neil moved to California, where he met his second wife. Marjorie and Elyn then moved to New Jersey after their mother remarried.
The Grammy-winning musician credits his eldest child for coming up with the title “Beautiful Noise,” one of his most popular songs and later the title of the jukebox musical based on his life.
During an interview with the U.K.’s TV-am in 1992, Neil recalled the evening she inspired him. “I was with my daughters in New York City staying in a hotel, and we were all drawing in one of the rooms, drawing pictures, and outside the window was a parade,” he said.
“We were looking at the parade and all the noise coming up from the parade to the hotel room,” he continued. “And Marjorie, my eldest daughter, said, ‘Daddy, what a beautiful noise!’ And I said, ‘Marjorie, tonight, we’re going to write a song called 'Beautiful Noise.’ It just struck me as something only a child could think of, and that night I wrote ‘Beautiful Noise’ from beginning to end.”
Neil called the moment “kismet” and shared that his daughters even sang with him that night. Marjorie and Elyn’s voices are on a home demo of “Beautiful Noise,” which was featured in his 1996 anthology album In My Lifetime.
As an adult, Marjorie has lived in N.Y.C. She has at least one son named Alexander, Neil’s first grandchild, who was born in 1995. “I love being a granddad,” Neil told PEOPLE in 1996. “It’s one of those perks where you don’t have to do anything but let your chest swell.”
Elyn Diamond, 55
Neil and Posner welcomed their second child, daughter Elyn Diamond, in 1968.
Later in life, she founded the Children Who Never Forget Foundation, an organization that aids children who have experienced abuse.
Elyn has attended several public events with her father over the years. In May 1993, Neil and Elyn attended a concert at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and in October 2000, the father-daughter duo held a benefit for her organization.
According to Billboard, Elyn and her husband, Mitchel Resnick, welcomed their first child, daughter Avery Max, in Los Angeles on Dec. 20, 2004.
Jesse Diamond, 53
Neil and Murphey welcomed their son Jesse Diamond on May 1, 1970. Jesse was 24 years old when his parents separated after nearly 25 years of marriage.
Although Neil generally kept his children out of the spotlight, Jesse followed in his father’s footsteps and began pursuing music in his early 20s — even touring with the hitmaker.
Jesse appeared with Neil on TV-am in 1992. “It’s just good fun for me,” Jesse said of touring with his dad. “I don’t get paid, I’m just really along for a great time.”
When asked if he encouraged his son to get involved in the music industry, Neil replied, “Jesse has been playing on stage since he was 6, mostly so I could keep an eye on him while I was on the road.”
He continued: “He took to it. He loves it. He plays drums, he writes music, he’s a terrific writer and he’s now taking guitar. It’s a pleasure for me to have him with me. It’s a big kick, it’s something that I dreamed about for a long time. I was on the road, I thought, ‘Someday, maybe I’ll take Jesse with me.’ ”
Jesse studied music and visual arts at the California Institute of the Arts, according to the Leica Gallery. In 2002, he began his own photography business, The Street Studio. He was also the chief creative officer of Eyeist from 2011 to 2020.
Over the years, his work has been shown in exhibitions in L.A., N.Y.C. and Germany, according to his website. Jesse has also been published in several books, including A Day in the Life of the United States Armed Forces, Drum Circle and White Noise. He has received several accolades as a photographer, including Fine Art Photographer of the Year at the International Photography Awards in 2004 and the Rising Star Award at the Fotofusion Photography Festival in 2003.
In 1998, Jesse met his future wife, actress Sheryl Lee, at a camp in Kenya. The couple dated for two years before they tied the knot. Jesse and Lee welcomed their son, Elijah Diamond, on May 2, 2000.
Jessie and Elijah — a model represented by Society Management in N.Y.C., I Love Models Management in Milan and Photogenics in L.A. — would later go on to divorce, and Jesse began dating therapist Elana Belzberg in 2016, though the pair have known each other much longer.
In 2023, Jesse shared a photo of himself and Belzberg — who tied the knot in June 2019 — at boarding school in the ‘80s. The photographer marked their fourth wedding anniversary with a post on Instagram at the time, writing: “Seven years together and today four years of being hitched - Happy Anniversary to my forever one and only."
In addition to messages he has shared about his wife and son, Jesse has also posted about his father on social media.
For his father’s 82nd birthday in 2023, Jesse shared a photo of Neil playing guitar outside. “Spending another birthday with his portable natural habitat,” he wrote. “Happy Birthday, Dad. Love, Respect, Salute.”
Micah Diamond, 45
Neil and Murphey welcomed their son Micah Diamond in 1978.
Micah was a high school senior when his parents split up. In 1996, Neil’s brother Harvey Diamond told PEOPLE of the musician: “He was always there, emotionally, when the kids really needed him. Yet, absorbed in his work, he slowly stopped paying attention to the needs of his wife.”
After his second divorce, Neil said he appreciated the support of his sons and that they had ultimately grown closer. “They’ve become very protective of me,” he told PEOPLE. “They will call me, saying, ‘How ya doing, Dad? Come on, let’s go out for breakfast.’ ”
Micah is a photographer and was previously the creative director at SchnApps. He was also co-founder and chief operations officer at Eyeist with his older brother, Jesse.
In an interview with Forbes, Neil recalled his son’s involvement in documenting his 2020 album Classic Diamonds.
“I have a kid who I sent down there to London, my son Micah. He's a very talented photographer,” Neil said. “So I said, ‘Micah, I need you to go down to London and photograph this session ‘cause it's special.’ Micah is musical, like all people his age, but he wrote me a letter that moved me. It almost made me cry because he got it and he got the whole thing about the music in that session.”
With the exception of the album cover, which was shot by Ari Michelson, and some images captured by Jesse, Micah took a majority of the album’s other photos.
“He took it with a lot of soul and a lot of passion and he nailed it,” Neil said of Micah. “I didn't tell him what to capture, what I was looking for. Just wanted great pictures that helped visualize the story and the emotion of the album. And he got it. And that's important to me not only because it's my kid, but that means other listeners get the emotional content of those songs.”
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