EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Life has come full circle for Connecticut native and American Idol winner Nick Fradiani.

While Fradiani now portrays a young Neil Diamond in A Beautiful Noise, the Neil Diamond Musical on Broadway, his roots go way back with the legendary musician.

“It is kind of a crazy story,” he said. “Yes, my first-ever concert was Neil Diamond.”

He was 3 years old when his parents took him. While he doesn’t remember much, he said he memorized many of the lyrics, and would sing them with a lisp at preschool.

Fradiani’s father would play Neil Diamond Christmas carols they’d sing together.

“And, I used to think his phrasing was very interesting,” Fradiani said.

A product of East Haven and Guilford, Fradiani is an alternate in the show. He performs every Wednesday night, and has filled in on additional nights playing a younger version of the “Sweet Caroline” musician.

It’s that song that the musical ends on — and that the crowd goes crazy for.

“I was like, if only I could have written ‘Sweet Caroline,'” Fradiani said. “I’ve never heard so many people sing a song back to you.”

Fradiani will be back in Connecticut on Dec. 19, when he and his father play their annual Christmas concert at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook.