What’s Wrong with Ozzy Osbourne? The Prince of Darkness Reveals Laundry List of Maladies

is Ozzy Osbourne still alive
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is Ozzy Osbourne still alive
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Photo Credit: Daniel Zappe / CC by 2.0

Ozzy Osbourne reveals a laundry list of medical issues, but isn’t yet ready to put his 50-year career to bed — ‘If I can perform again, I will.’

Ever since reports surfaced that the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, godfather of heavy metal, had put any plans to tour on the back burner amid a host of medical maladies, fans have been understandably concerned for his health. The 74-year-old has undergone countless bouts of surgery in recent years, among other physical setbacks, but the Prince of Darkness isn’t yet ready to retire to his crypt.

“Such is his ability to withstand the effects of years of excessive drink, drugs, and general hard living that in 2010, a geneticist concluded after sequencing Ozzy’s genome that he is a ‘genetic mutant,’” writes Rolling Stone UK’s Nick Reilly, who recently sat down for an in-depth interview with Osbourne.

Earlier this year, Ozzy underwent his fourth spinal surgery to remedy the damage caused by a 2019 fall that dislodged the metal rods put in after his serious bike crash in 2003.

“The second surgery went drastically wrong and virtually left me crippled. I thought I’d be up and running after the second and third, but with the last one they put a f—ing rod in my spine,” Ozzy explains. “They found a tumor in one of the vertebra, so they had to dig all that out, too.”

The singer was also officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003 — something he says he doesn’t think about that much, except when the news reminds him of it.

“I’m getting pissed off reading the papers, and they’re saying things like, ‘Ozzy is fighting his last battle. He’s sung his last Paranoid.’ You know, I don’t even think about Parkinson’s that much, (but) every time I scratch my ass, they put it down to Parkinson’s!”

But he isn’t ready to give up on his dream of returning to the stage, even as he recognizes it might not be realistic.

“I’m taking it one day at a time, and if I can perform again, I will. But it’s been like saying farewell to the best relationship of my life,” he admits. “At the start of my illness, when I stopped touring, I was really pissed off with myself, the doctors, and the world. But as time has gone on, I’ve just gone, ‘Well, maybe I’ve just got to accept that fact.’”

Ozzy says he owes a lifetime’s debt of gratitude to his fans, and he regrets not planning a farewell tour should he never be able to perform again as he would like. So is Ozzy Osbourne still alive? Yes—but his touring days are perhaps sunset, even if the Prince of Darkness isn’t ready to admit that.

“That’s one of the things I’ve been the most f—ing pissed off at: I never got the chance to say goodbye or thank you,” he says. “Because my fans are what it’s all about. If I can just do a few gigs… They’ve been loyal to me for f—ing years.”

“It’s my extended family really, and they give us the lifestyle we have. For whatever reason, that’s my goal to work to — to do those shows,” Ozzy concludes. “If I can’t continue doing shows on a regular basis, I just want to be well enough to do one show where I can say, ‘Hi guys, thanks so much for my life.’ That’s what I’m working towards, and if I drop down dead at the end of it, I’ll die a happy man.”

Ozzy is currently completing his long-planned move back to his native Birmingham, UK. This week saw him honored with the first-ever Icon Award at the Rolling Stone UK Awards; other winners of the evening included The Chemical Brothers, The Last Dinner Party, Jessie Ware, and Daniel Kaluuya.