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Ozzy Osbourne announces retirement from touring, cancels UK shows

The Prince of Darkness said he is 'not physically capable' of performing

By Joe Goggins

Ozzy Osbourne on stage in Melbourne, 2008
Osbourne had intended to return to the road. (Photo: Kyle Overholtzer/Wikimedia Commons)

Ozzy Osbourne has announced his retirement from touring, and cancelled his long-delayed UK run with Judas Priest.

The Prince of Darkness had intended to continue as a live performer even after Black Sabbath had stepped back fro the live circuit in 2017, with a final UK tour that ended at the Resorts World Arena in their native Birmingham. However, a planned run of solo shows in Britain, ironically advertised under the title ‘No More Tours 2’, was originally pulled at short notice in January of 2019 when Osbourne came down with “a very bad case of flu.”

Weeks later, a serious fall at home saw him nix his dates for the rest of that year. In the years since, the COVID-19 pandemic and a raft of health issues have conspired to keep Osbourne from the road, and last summer, he underwent spinal surgery to treat an underlying issue that had continued to plagued him since a quad biking accident in 2003. He had also gone public about his battle with Parkinson’s disease in early 2020, having been living with the condition for over 15 years.

Now, the metal legend has conceded that a return to full-time touring is off the table, despite positive signs late last summer when he added surprise appearances first at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in his hometown, and then on the field at half-time during an NFL season opener between Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills. 

“As you may know, four years ago, this month, I had a major accident, where I damaged my spine,” began a statement posted by Osbourne this morning (February 1) to social media. “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,” hey continued, “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,” Osbourne went on. He stressed that this did not mean a wholesale step away from performance, saying that his team are “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… crew… 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,” he concluded. “I love you all…”

Refunds are available at the point of purchase. Last September, Osbourne released his 13th solo album, Patient Number 9, which won rave reviews and holds the prospect of better news for him at this Sunday’s Grammy Awards, where he is nominated in four categories.