Earlier this week pioneering heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from full-scale touring. Among the immediate casualties of his health-related decision was his long-delayed UK tour with heavy metal legends Judas Priest. While Osbourne hopes to at least return to the stage for potential show in the future, his spinal problems have forced him to stepdown from hitting the road for any length of time.
In 2019, a late night fall saw Osbourne rupture steel rods that were surgically inserted in him following a 2003 ATV accident. The lingering complications from that fall saw him undergo numerous surgeries, some with life-changing side effects, including nerve damage and issues with his balance.
His mobility and health have declined following the 2019 fall, and the various treatments he underwent have yet to bring him back to a level where he’d be comfortable on the road. In turn, the 74-year-old metal icon, who also suffers from a form of Parkinson’s Disease, made the sad decision to hang up his time on the bus.
Osbourne said in his statement:
“This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to share with my loyal fans. 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.
I am honestly humbled by the way you’ve all patiently held onto your tickets for all this time, but 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, as I know I couldn’t deal with the travel required. Believe me when I say that the thought of disappointing my fans really FUCKS ME UP, more than you will ever know.
Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way. My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country.
I want to thank my family……my band…….my crew……my longtime friends, Judas Priest, and of course, my 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…”
Osbourne‘s longtime guitarist and frequent cohort Zakk Wylde has since issued a statement tonight in regards to the news, it reads as follows:
“OZ – KEEP HITTING THE IRON,STAYING STRONG & POSITIVE • EVERYBODY IS PRAYING & ROOTING FOR YOU – YOUR STRENGTH,RESILIENCE & HEART OF A LION IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY REASONS YOU’RE A HERO TO ME & MILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD – WHEN YOU ARE READY TO ROLL – WE ROLL •
I LOVE YOU OZ
Likewise, his planned tourmates Judas Priest have also commented on the Osbourne‘s unfortunate situation, offering:
We send all our love and support for Ozzy and thank our fans in the UK and Ireland especially for your loyalty by standing with us…..
Right now we’re looking at feasible opportunities to see each other again soon and will post update’s accordingly
Love Judas Priest“