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As one of the most iconic and most notorious rock musicians in all of recorded history, Ozzy Osbourne has earned a reputation that has gone beyond the stuff of legend. His accomplishments eclipse the majority of others within the heavy metal scene, and he’s steadily produced fan-pleasing content for the better part of five decades, while influencing countless musicians along the way. His larger-than-life persona is present even when the topic stretches outside the realm of music and touches upon Osbourne’s health and wellness, and he’s spoken out about recent rumors that claim he’s all but knocking on death’s door.
For context, the Prince of Darkness dropped the surprise announcement in January that his long-anticipated comeback tour (which has been in the works since 2019), was indefinitely postponed, as Osbourne cited spinal injury issues making it impossible for him to perform on stage with ease and comfort. Though he did express the idea that he’d love to get back on stage, some took his tour stoppage to mean he’s essentially a goner. To combat those rumors, he addressed his touring decision on his Sirius XM show Ozzy’s Boneyard, giving co-host Billy Morrison a hilariously frank update with a couple of F-bombs thrown in the mix.
This fucking press will drive you nuts. I mean, I looked in a magazine, and [it said,] ‘Ozzy’s on his last legs.’ I’m fucking not dying. … Come on, guys, haven’t I had it bad enough already?
Billy Morrison humorously chimed in to say that Ozzy was on “the same pair of legs he’s had since I’ve known him.” Which is to say, the bat-chomping metalhead isn’t going anywhere for a while yet, even if rumors are prematurely putting him six feet under. He hasn’t even lived through Hollywood going hard on developing a Black Sabbath biopic yet.
In the most nuanced of senses, it’s perhaps understandable why fans would fall into hyperbolic doomsaying where Ozzy Osbourne’s health is concerned, since the former reality star has been at the heart of recurring medical problems and situations in recent years, while reportedly enjoying sober life starting around 2013-2014. Back in February 2019, the musician was hospitalized over complications from pneumonia, even spending some time in ICU. While still recovering from that malady, Osbourne sustained critical injuries after falling in his home, which would go on to inform his aforementioned decision to stop touring.
What’s more, Ozzy Osbourne revealed in 2020 that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease around the time of his fall and pneumonia crisis, which led to further concert delays at the time. None of it has weighed lightly on the Grammy winner, who says he would 100% get back into the touring grind to perform for eager fans if it was something that seemed at all possible physically. In his words:
Well, I’ve been working my guts out to try and get back on my feet. I’ve come to the point where Sharon says to me, ‘You know what, the truth of the matter [is] you can't keep booking tours and failing, canceling.’ So if I can ever get back where I can tour again, fine. But right now, if you said to me, ‘Can you go on the road in a month?’ I couldn’t say yes. I mean, if I could tour, I’d tour. But right now, I can’t book tours because, right now, I don’t think I could pull them off.
Plus, even if he woke up tomorrow and suddenly felt better than he had in 20 years, Osbourne points out that it would then still take another six months for all the planning and deals to be worked out behind the scenes, so it would still be a slog of a wait for potential concert-goers.
Of course, anyone who truly thinks Ozzy Osbourne is dying was likely shocked by seeing him pop up in one of this year’s big Super Bowl commercials. He joined KISS’ Paul Stanley, Gary Clark Jr, Joan Jett and Billy Idol (whom Billy Morrison used to play guitar for) in a fun ad for Workday, which can be seen below.
Ozzy also popped up in an ad for PlayStation’s VR2 headset, which was just unveiled this week. Pretty hard to enter virtual reality if you’re dead. Or, at the very least, it’s hard to do it well.
So for now, no one needs to worry about Ozzy Osbourne joining that big goth masquerade party in the sky. Or whatever the suitable equivalent would be for the Trolls 2 voice actor. In the meantime, he’s still putting out music and music videos, so there’s a slight chance he’ll be able to handle some live performances remotely for fans to stream.