Ozzy Osbourne has revealed in an emotional new interview that he has been diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease.
Ozzy and his wife and manager Sharon Osbourne appeared on Good Morning America this morning (Tuesday 21st January) where Ozzy opened up for the first time about his private health battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Reflecting upon his torrid 2019, which saw him battle pneumonia and suffer neck injuries in a serious fall in his bedroom, a visibly emotional Ozzy told Good Morning America host Robin Roberts: "It's been terribly challenging for us all.
"I did my last show New Year's Eve (2018) at The Forum (in Los Angeles). Then I had a bad fall. I had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed all my nerves."
“I found out that I have a mild form of....” Ozzy continued before wife Sharon helped him finish his sentence.
“It's Parkin 2, which is a form of Parkinson's. There are so many different types of Parkinson's,” Sharon explained.
“It's not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination but it does effect certain nerves in your body. It's like you'll have a good day, a good day and then a really bad day.”
Ozzy added: “A year ago next month I was in a shocking state. I'm on a host of medication, mainly for the surgery. I've got numbness down this arm and my legs are going cold. I don't know if it's the Parkinson's or what. That's the problem. Because they cut nerves when they did the surgery. I'd never heard of nerve pain, and it's a weird feeling."
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: Rock legend @OzzyOsbourne sits down with @RobinRoberts and breaks his silence about his private health battle with Parkinson's disease. https://t.co/tYd0K3rQet pic.twitter.com/ANaS82xakY— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 21, 2020
Ozzy said he’s on a “really, really low dose” of medication for his Parkinson’s and he’s also taking pills for his nerve pain.
Sharon continued: “The thing is, as Ozzy said before, it’s very hard for doctors to go ‘well this is an injury from your fall. This is what comes with Parkin 2’.
"We’ve kind of reached a point here in this country where we can’t go any further because we’ve got all the answers we can get here. So in April we’re going to a professor in Switzerland and he deals with getting your immune system at its peak. So, we’re going to go wherever we can go to seek answers.”
“We’re lucky enough to be able to afford to do that,” Ozzy added. “I’m thinking about starting up a foundation (for other sufferers).”
Reflecting upon keeping his Parkinson's diagnosis secret last year, Ozzy said: “To hide something inside for a while is hard. You never feel proper. You feel guilty, y’know. I'm no good with secrets. I cannot walk around with it anymore because it's like I'm running out of excuses."
Asked what he wants to say to his fans, Ozzy said: "I feel better now I've owned up to the fact I've got Parkinson's. And I just hope they hang in there for me because I need them. I hope they're not going to leave me. They're my air, y'know."
Asked by Robin Roberts why she is crying, a clearly very upset Sharon said: “Because it just means so much to him what he does. He loves to perform. It is the air that he breathes. This is the longest that he’s been back home and it’s time for him to get back on the road because he’s driving me mad [laughs]. He really needs to get back out there.”
Ozzy concluded: "I just can't wait to get well enough to go on the road again. That's what's killing me. I need it y'know. That's my drug today. I've done all the other crap, I've left that by the wayside. Survived that. And I ain't gone yet. I ain't gonna go anywhere yet."
What is Parkinson's disease?
According to the NHS, Parkinson's disease 'is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.' The main symptoms are involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor), slow movement and stiff and inflexible muscles. Sufferers often also battle depression and anxiety, balance problems, memory loss, insomnia and loss of sense of smell.
Ozzy Osbourne 'Ordinary Man'
Despite his poor health, Ozzy recorded his twelfth studio album ‘Ordinary Man’ while recuperating from his fall last summer alongside producer Andrew Watt on guitars, Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses) on bass and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on drums.
Released on Friday 21st February, ‘Ordinary Man’ features the Planet Rock playlisted anthem ‘Under The Graveyard’, the thunderous single ‘Straight To Hell’ featuring Slash, and Ozzy’s Elton John collaboration ‘Ordinary Man’.
Other guest performers on 'Ordinary Man' are Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and rapper Post Malone.
Ozzy's re-rescheduled No More Tour 2 UK trek with Judas Priest is still scheduled to take place this autumn, taking in the following shows:
Newcastle Utilita Arena – Fri 23rd
Glasgow The SSE Hydro – Sun 25th
London The O2 – Wed 28th
Birmingham Resorts World Arena – Sat 31st
Manchester Arena – Mon 2nd
Dublin 3Arena – Thu 5th
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – Sun 8th
Everyone at Planet Rock wishes Ozzy and his family all the best at this time.
Ozzy Osbourne - 'Ordinary Man' ft. Elton John