The Gruesome Injury Behind Ozzy Osbourne's Tour Cancellation

Ozzy Osbourne shocked fans today with a major announcement: he won't be touring anymore and is canceling all future dates, per Rolling Stone. He had postponed his farewell tour, No More Tours II, after falling at his home in 2019. However, it was an even older injury that finally brought down the Prince of Darkness.

On Dec. 8, 2003, Osbourne had an accident while riding an all-terrain vehicle on his estate near London. He wound up in the hospital with "a broken collarbone, eight fractured ribs that were pinching crucial blood vessels, and a damaged vertebrae in his neck," his son Jack Osbourne said at the time (via Ultimate Classic Rock). He underwent surgery for the injury at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, England, west of London, where metal rods, as well as 15 screws, were put in his back to repair the damage. However, his 2019 fall dislodged them. The aftermath of that fall is what prompted his decision to stop touring. The canceled performances, in the UK and Europe, had originally been rescheduled for May 2023, but alas, it is not to be.

Ultimate Classic Rock says that, supposedly, the anxiety medication Osbourne was taking in 2003 contributed to his ATV accident, as he wasn't fully lucid. He was on the medication because of his fears about his wife Sharon's cancer.

Ozzy's 2019 accident

Osbourne's second accident, in 2019, happened when he'd gotten up during the night to use the bathroom, then tripped and fell (via Ultimate Classic Rock). He was in the hospital for two months afterward and called it the worst "agony" he'd ever experienced. Following the injury, he told Rolling Stone he was afraid he'd never be able to "walk properly again" — or perform.

In addition to damaging the repairs from his earlier accident, the 2019 fall cut some of his nerves. During his slow recovery, he underwent multiple surgeries, stem cell procedures, physical and occupational therapy, and cybernics treatment with HAL to try to get back on his feet, per Rolling Stone. One of his surgeries — on June 13, 2022 — was especially crucial. Sharon Osbourne said on the TV show The Talk (via E! News), "It's really going to determine the rest of his life." 

However, he said he's still not physically ready for a rigorous tour. "I know I couldn't deal with the travel required," he said in a statement released on Instagram. He apologized to fans, saying he was "humbled" they'd kept their tickets for so long and expressing his distress at disappointing them.

Further complications

In the immediate aftermath of his 2019 fall, Osbourne shared that he had full-time nurses and couldn't do anything without a walker (via Ultimate Classic Rock). Getting back on stage was his chief goal, he said. He believed his recovery would take about a year, so he initially only planned to postpone his tour until 2020, but then the COVID-19 pandemic caused further delays, according to Rolling Stone. Osbourne actually caught COVID-19 himself in April 2022. Around that time, he told Classic Rock, "I can't walk properly these days. I have physical therapy every morning. I am somewhat better, but nowhere near as much as I want to be to go back on the road."

Back in 2020, Osbourne also announced that he had Parkinson's disease, per E! News. The brain condition can cause difficulty with coordination and balance, so it may have contributed to his fall (via E! News).

Performing post-injury

Osbourne hasn't been totally out of the game since 2019 — he has released two albums in the meantime (via Classic Rock History). Osbourne has also made some public appearances since his injury, including at Comic-Con in July 2022. A few weeks later, he performed at the Commonwealth Games' closing ceremony in Birmingham, England, his hometown. For the performance, he reunited with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi (via E! News). Iommi also contributed to Osbourne's 2022 album "Patient Number 9," Osbourne told Classic Rock.

In today's statement, he said he hopes he may still be able to perform sometimes — if it doesn't require traveling. "My team is currently coming up with ideas," he said. According to Rolling Stone, Osbourne has retired from touring once before, way back in 1992 when he was misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He made a farewell tour at the time — the No More Tours tour — but embarked on another only three years later — that tour was called Retirement Sucks. It remains to be seen if he still feels the same way.