Ozzy Osbourne — performing the halftime show during the Los Angeles Rams’d season opener in September — announces his retirement from touring amid health issues. (Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Ozzy Osbourne’s touring days are over amid health issues.
The British rock legend, best known for fronting Black Sabbath, called off his 2023 tour dates in the U.K. and Europe on Wednesday, citing health issues. His health woes date back two decades after a quad bike accident, he recently detailed in an interview with Yahoo, but things got worse four years ago after a fall at home, which led to neck and spine issues. Around that time, he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
“This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to share with my loyal fans,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said a statement on social media. “As you may all know, four years ago, this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine. My one and only purpose during this time has been to get back on stage. My singing voice is fine. However, after three operations, stem cell treatments, endless physical therapy sessions, and most recently groundbreaking Cybernics (HAL) Treatment, my body is still physically weak.”
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Ozzy, who has been performing since the 1960s, said he was “humbled” that fans held onto their tickets when he had to delay his world tour after his 2019 fall. While he remained hopeful he would take the stage again, “in all good conscience, I have now come to the realization that I’m not physically capable of doing my upcoming European/UK tour dates.”
The Prince of Darkness said the travel required to tour is too much, noting, “Believe me when I say that the thought of disappointing my fans really F***S ME UP, more than you will ever know.”
At 74, the “Crazy Train” singer’s wrote, “Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way.”
Ozzy said his team is trying to come up with ways that would allow him to “perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.” For instance, in September, her performed during halftime of an NFL game between the Los Angeles Rams, which was broadcast.
He ended his message by thanking his family, his band, the crew and Judas Priest — whom he was touring with. He gave a special shout out to his fans “for their endless dedication, loyalty, and support, and for giving me the life that I never ever dreamed I would have. I love you all…”
While talking to Yahoo in December, Ozzy said his one hope for 2023 was to “get back on that stage.”
He said, “I’ve gotta get back on that stage. It’s driving me nuts, not being able to. I can’t relax. I’ve always gotta be doing something. … I mean, I could say let’s call it a day, but I can’t stop. There’s nothing like a good gig, and there’s nothing like a bad gig — because a bad gig makes you wanna do a good gig, better than before! A great gig is better than any sex or drug. There’s nothing to compare it to.”
He also talked about how just a few years ago, slowing down was unimaginable.
“I can remember when I was 69 and thinking, ‘I wonder when I’ll start to feel old, when I’ll start to feel everything?'” he said. “And suddenly, when I turned 70, the floodgates opened. It was one thing after the other. … This is the longest time I’ve been sick in my life.”
Despite the health setbacks, which have resulted in him needing a cane to get around, his album Patient Number 9, released in September, earned him his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart. It also received four Grammy nominations — his most nominations ever for a single album.
It’s been a rough go for both Ozzy and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, who had her own health emergency in December. She was shooting with their son Jack when she passed out for 20 minutes on Dec. 13 and was rushed to the hospital. Earlier this month, Sharon — Ozzy’s manager — was asked to explain what happened and she said, “I wish I could, but I can’t. It was the weirdest thing” and tests turned up no immediate cause.
Last year, Ozzy and Sharon announced plans to move back to Buckinghamshire, England for the final chapter of their lives. Sharon has been working there since her firing from The Talk in 2021. The couple — original reality TV stars since their MTV hit The Osbournes in the 2000s — said the move would be filmed for a new BBC reality show, Home to Roost, and a network spokeswoman told Deadline on Wednesday that the new show will proceed despite Ozzy’s announcement about retiring from touring. There will be 10 30-minute episodes — featuring the couple as well as kids Jack and Kelly Osbourne — and air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Despite the couple’s move across the pond, it’s not goodbye to the U.S. Their three children — also including Aimée — are based in L.A., and that is also where the couple’s five grandchildren reside. Plus, they haven’t yet sold their L.A. home, which is still on the market with an asking price of $17.5 million.