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Branson In the Spotlight: A Neil Diamond Tribute

A Series by Discover Branson

5 minute read

Regarded in the eyes of many as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century is Neil Diamond, an artist whose career has spanned decades and multiple creative disciplines. With more than 130 million records sold worldwide, he is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. “Cherry Cherry,” “Sweet Caroline,” and “America” are only a few of the iconic hits for which he is known and loved. He is a prolific songwriter, having written chart-topping songs like “I’m a Believer” and “Red Red Wine,” which became huge hits for The Monkees and UB40, respectively. In addition to his massively successful career as a singer and songwriter, Diamond has appeared in films. He has garnered a multitude of awards and accolades in celebration of his music, which include his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, being an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 

The anthemic music of Neil Diamond is brought to Branson in A Neil Diamond Tribute at God and Country Theatre. Owner of the 450-seat theater is Jerry Presley, a cousin of Elvis Presley. 14-time Branson Show Award Winner and renowned tribute artist Keith Allynn holds the star role of Neil Diamond in the show. Allynn’s resemblance to Diamond, in both looks and sound, is truly uncanny, consistently creating a transcendent audience experience. Featuring the Double Diamond Show Band, A Neil Diamond Tribute is a full production that pays the sincerest homage to one of the most admired and cherished singer-songwriters in history. Allynn prioritizes showing gratitude to the live band, expressing, “I think the band is very important. I think they should almost be featured as much as I am, as far as the singing goes.” Together, Keith Allynn and the Double Diamond Show Band honor the legacy of Neil Diamond through stunning performances of his work. 

Keith Allynn is a seasoned entertainer skilled in many different art forms. At the young age of 14, Allynn began performing stand-up comedy; he opened shows for hugely popular comedians Chris Rock, Tim Allen, and Robin Williams. Before becoming a Neil Diamond tribute artist, Allynn was an Elvis tribute artist, rising to the coveted rank of a Top 10 Elvis in the World. Upon arriving in Branson, Allynn noticed somewhat of an oversaturation of Elvises performing at local theaters. Identifying an opportunity for a different star to take the stage, Allynn shifted his attention to another beloved musician, transforming into a Neil Diamond tribute artist. Putting his comedic abilities to good use, Allynn weaves humor into the show, elevating the production to be even more engaging. He has been performing as Neil Diamond for about 15 years, enthralling audiences with his phenomenal portrayal of the world-famous star. 

Though seemingly similar, there is a distinction between tribute artists and celebrity impersonators. Allynn’s primary focus is directed toward being the former. While Allynn has all of the necessary talent to faultlessly epitomize the essence, mannerisms, and cadence of Neil Diamond, he strives to keep his show authentic, stating, “If I heard [Neil Diamond] say something, I could repeat it exactly the way he said it. But, as far as my show goes, I tell people I’m not an impersonator.” Through their performances, tribute artists convey a keen respect and adoration for another artist’s music; this passion drives them to master and replicate the music of the artist to whom they are paying tribute. When shared with an audience, tribute artists impart the experience of actually seeing that artist live in concert. For a tribute artist, the desire is not to completely erase one’s own identity to be replaced by that of a star, but rather to demonstrate an earnest reverence for a famous artist’s musical contributions. The immense success that Neil Diamond enjoyed from his prolific career inevitably made him a celebrity, but he was a musical artist first. Allynn says, “I don’t want to be Neil Diamond, I just want to pay tribute to Neil Diamond. So, between songs, I just talk to the audience like I would have an everyday conversation.” Allynn’s striking embodiment of Neil Diamond paired with his retention of his own personality makes for a show that is supremely lively and authentic. 

When thinking about A Neil Diamond Tribute and its future, Allynn intends to continue enchanting audiences by doing what he loves: playing the incredible music of Neil Diamond. He expresses his interest in being involved with the production of a Neil Diamond movie, saying, “I hope we can get somebody [in the film industry] to see it. I want to do a movie about Neil Diamond.” In 2015, Allynn appeared in a film entitled Diamond Mountain. He discusses this project, explaining, "It was kind of a documentary about Neil Diamond tribute artists. There were 13 of us in it, and I was the only lookalike and soundalike in [the film].” As far as the show’s place in Branson entertainment, Allynn concentrates on preserving and promoting the artistic industry that originally put Branson on the map. “Theater is what made people come to Branson. I’d like to see people get into live music again.” 

When you’re in Branson, you won’t want to miss the chance to see the remarkable talent of Keith Allynn in A Neil Diamond Tribute. Tickets can be reserved at the best prices in town when you book through Discover Branson. We have been helping visitors plan extraordinary vacations at great prices for decades, and we are here to help you plan yours! For tickets to A Neil Diamond Tribute at God and Country Theatre, as well as many other Branson shows and attractions, contact our travel experts by phone or online.

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