. Neil Diamond is 70 today. The singer/songwriter has spent 50 of those 70 years in the entertainment business, cranking out a hefty collection of big hits and classic tunes. And then there’s the sequin-adorned shirts.

The man behind songs like “Sweet Caroline,” Solitary Man” and “Forever In Blue Jeans” will also – finally – be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March in New York City. He joins Tom Waits, Alice Cooper, Dr. John and Darlene Love in the 2011 class. So even more reason to celebrate this year.

“I think it’s great,” Diamond told Rolling Stone about his Hall of Fame induction.

“I’m happy that that they recognized me and my work. Any club that has Chuck Berry and Little Richard and The Everly Brothers is a club that I want to be a part of.”

The guy wrote the Monkees’ hits “I’m A Believer,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” and “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) for crying out loud. How has it taken so long to get him in?!

Some might think about Diamond and wonder why a rock n’ roll hall of fame is right for him. At some point in the early ’80s Diamond shifted his musical focus to a more adult-contemporary style (stuff parents were digging!), so it’s easy to forget that in the 1960’s and 1970’s the guy was all about rock n’ roll.

Look at the cover of Hot August Night from 1972 . That’s all rock n’ roll right there!

Okay so The Jazz Singer isn’t going on AFI’s top 50 list, but the 1980 remake features songs like “Love on the Rocks”, “Hello Again” and “America,” and those are good songs – even if sometimes they can be annoying.

He might not make records these days people are falling over themselves to get, but the man still tours the hell out of the globe and the fans never fail to show up. His body of work is legendary and it’s a great thing he’s finally being recognized by the Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday Neil Diamond!