Ozzy Osbourne has announced he is no longer “physically capable” of performing planned shows in Europe and the UK, telling fans he “never imagined” his touring days would “have ended this way”.
The 74-year-old former Black Sabbath singer has had extensive spinal surgery and other treatment over the past four years, after a fall at home in 2019 aggravated injuries he suffered in a near-fatal quad bike crash in 2003.
In 2020, he revealed he has Parkinson’s disease.
Osbourne has made a few announcements of gigs being cancelled and rescheduled over the past few years, but has now said he cannot handle the travelling associated with a major tour.
Writing on Instagram, he said: “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.”
Osbourne told his five million followers that his singing voice is “fine” but his body is “still physically weak”, despite three operations, stem cell treatments, physical therapy sessions, and recent “groundbreaking” Cybernics (HAL) Treatment – using a wearable robot suit.
“I am honestly humbled by the way you’ve all patiently held on to your tickets for all this time, but in all good conscience I have now come to the realisation 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,” he said.
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According to tour dates on his website, Osbourne was due to begin a series of shows in Helsinki, Finland, on 3 May, with the tour also including gigs in Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and London, before finishing in his home city of Birmingham on 14 June.
Despite his health problems, Osbourne has appeared at some shows in recent years – including the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 and at half-time during an NFL game in California in 2021.
While tours can be gruelling, with several shows across short periods of time and lots of travelling involved, Osbourne gave fans hope that live shows won’t be off the cards entirely.
“Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way,” he said. “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.”
Osbourne also thanked fans, crew, family and his “longtime friends” Judas Priest “for their endless dedication, loyalty, and support”.
Speaking to Kerrang magazine after revealing his Parkinson’s diagnosis, Osbourne said: “Do I ever think about when my time’s gonna come?
“I think about it – I don’t worry about it. I won’t be here in another 15 years or whatever, not that much longer, but I don’t dwell on it. It’s gonna happen to us all.”