Ozzy Osbourne has officially canceled his 2023 UK/European tour while also suggesting that his touring career is over. The Prince of Darkness broke the news in a heart-wrenching statement that details his physical limitations.
The metal icon was originally set to embark on the UK/European outing with support act Judas Priest in 2019, as part of his “No More Tours 2” farewell trek, which had kicked off in 2018 with a North American leg and a number of European festivals. However, he suffered a serious fall at home at the start of 2019 that dislodged metal rods that had been inserted into his body after a 2003 ATV accident.
Since then, he’s undergone multiple surgeries, while also revealing at the beginning of 2020 that he’s been battling Parkinson’s disease. He canceled a planned second North American leg, while the UK/Europe run had been postponed multiple times, and had last been rescheduled for May and June of this year.
Ozzy’s full statement reads as follows:
“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…”
The cancellation of the rescheduled UK/European tour doesn’t come as a big surprise, given Ozzy’s recent interviews, in which he expressed frustration at not being able to tour. “It is so fucking tough because, I mean, I want to be out there,” he said on his Ozzy Boneyard Sirius XM channel in December. “But I just can’t fucking walk much now.”
On top of that, Zakk Wylde, the guitarist in Osbourne’s touring band, had already booked shows as a member of the revamped Pantera lineup that would have conflicted with Ozzy’s dates.
The bigger and sadder news is the notion that the 74-year-old Osbourne will no longer tour. As his statement suggests, perhaps he will play a residency or a major one-off destination concert here or there, but his days of traveling from city to city appear to be over.
In Consequence‘s cover story with Ozzy in November 2022, he told us that he was still holding out hope that he would be able to resume playing concerts. “I’m determined to get back on the stage again,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll be doing fucking nine-month tours anymore. But I don’t even know myself. Right now, I’m still in recovery, and I have a goal. And my goal is to get back onstage. It’s the driving force in me. I miss my audience. I miss doing gigs. I miss my crew. I miss my band. I miss the whole thing.”
Ozzy did manage to play a couple of gigs last year, including a surprise performance of “Paranoid” with Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi at the Commonwealth Games in their hometown of Birmingham, England, as well as a two-song halftime set at the NFL’s opening game in Los Angeles.
Take a look back at some of Ozzy’s greatest live moments in the video below.