The musical legends Steve Richards has worked with and known rivals the list of artists he has paid tribute to on the stage.

He’s worked with Alice Cooper, David Bowie and Elton John; knew Bob Marley; sang with Garth Brooks; and met three of the four Beatles – Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon.

“I’ve had a lot of great blessings and experiences,” Richards said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

He’ll be recreating a Neil Diamond concert when he brings his “Diamond for the Holidays Tribute” show to the Warsaw Community High School Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Tickets are $23 for VIP seating and $12, $15 or $18 for reserved seating.

Richards has performed for over 20 years as a tribute artist, recreating the songs of musical icons like Garth Brooks, Elton John, Billy Joel and his favorite, Neil Diamond.

“First of all, the first artist I recreated was Elvis because he was unique. It progressed from there,” he said, adding that paying tribute to Elvis stirred something in him.

He said he’s always looking for new artists to pay tribute to. He was a Jim Croce fan and loved him; Billy Joel is definitely an amazing talent and singer; and Elton John is wonderful, he said. “These men have gone through so many phases in their life, they bring so much people can relate to,”?he said.

Diamond digs deep into his own personal life so much more than other entertainers, Richards said. He was not popular and couldn’t get dates growing up, and Diamond reflects that in his songs, he said. There’s a lot of pain in his songs.

“He entertains with such power on stage. When he does a song on the stage, it’s very difficult to not get into it,” Richards said.

On stage in Warsaw, he said a majority of the songs he will perform will be Diamond’s with some Christmas songs thrown in. If he sings a song like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,”?he’ll do it the way Diamond would do it.

By the end of Richards’ performance, he said he tries to make people as exhausted as he is. He praised his guitarist, saying they’ve been together for 30 years, and he is amazing. They can do about any song together.

The Dec. 15 show will start off with a surprise, but he didn’t want to give away too much. The “cool” band are a bunch of “fantastic” musicians, he said. As the show progresses, he’ll talk to the audience, but once he really gets going with the Diamond songs, he said he will “really lose myself.” Performing is not just about getting paid, but also about touching people, he said.

As for song choices, Richards said he’ll  do the standards like “Sweet Caroline” and “Cherry Cherry,” but then he also picks songs people may not have known were by Diamond. He also doesn’t want to get stale, so he’ll do songs he hasn’t covered in awhile. Some selections may be based on the venue.

Richards has taken his show on the road, and he said he has people now working on getting him around the world.

“I started this in 1986 before anyone else, when there were no Neil Diamond tributes. I guess people didn’t realize how amazing of a singer, songwriter and storyteller he was. Each song takes you higher and higher and people feel that,” he said.

The word “authentic” is missing from a lot of people’s vocabulary who do tributes, but Richards promises that in his shows.

Diamond is celebrating his 50-year career. Richards said he could have one that’s just as long.

“I say there’s no stopping me now,” he said.