Ozzy Osbourne flashes peace sign as he's seen for first time since announcing retirement
Rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was spotted out in Los Angeles on Wednesday using a walking stick after cancelling his upcoming Europe and UK concert dates and retiring from touring.
The 74-year-old had earlier taken to social media with a statement explaining that he was ‘not physically capable’ of undertaking the shows after damaging his spine four years ago.
He stressed that after the fall in his home in 2019, which aggravated injuries from a near-fatal quad bike crash in 2003 and resulted in multiple surgeries – as well as other health issues – his body ‘is still physically weak’.
The Black Sabbath star also thanked his fans for their patience in holding onto their tickets for his No More Tours 2 shows through several postponements in the hope that they would see him live, calling it ‘humbling’.
Following a rush of fan support, Ozzy was seen in Santa Monica hours later taking care as he entered a building with the aid of a cane.
In photos obtained by The Daily Mail, he seemed in good spirits despite the news, flashing a peace sign for the photographer and saying that he felt ‘alright’.
The Grammy Award-nominated singer was dressed all in black and wearing a smart overcoat, trousers and trainers, with his long silver hair slicked back.
He had been set to begin his series of gigs on May 3 in Helsinki, Finland at the Hartwall Arena and end in the UK at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham on June 14 after playing London, Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle.
On his official social media accounts, Ozzy – who also has Parkinson’s disease – shared: ‘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.’
He added: ‘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 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.’
The Birmingham-born star went on to say: ‘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.’
He then thanked his family, band, crew and longtime friends, as well as ‘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’.
Following his announcement, a spokesman for the music icon told the PA news agency he is pausing touring ‘for now’.
His wife Sharon, 70, later took to Instagram with a tearful tribute to her husband, sharing a photo of herself looking emotional as she watched him perform live last year.
The former X Factor judge is seen holding her hand to her mouth as if to blow a kiss while looking up at the stage.
‘Pretty obvious who I’m watching. Still awestruck @ozzyosbourne 😍,’ she captioned the photo.
Since 2019, Ozzy has performed at the 2019 American Music Awards in November, during the closing ceremony at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in August and an NFL game in the US in September 2022.
He was lead vocalist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath, which he formed in 1969 alongside guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.
The singer also starred in fly-on-the-wall TV show The Osbournes, which documented the family’s life in Los Angeles.
Reference: Story by Tori Brazier