Ozzy Osbourne had some personal news to share when he sat down with Good Morning America for an exclusive interview that aired on January 21: He’s been battling Parkinson’s disease for nearly a year.
“I had a bad fall, and had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed up all my nerves,” the Black Sabbath frontman explained to host Robin Roberts of how he was eventually diagnosed last February. “And I found out I have a mild form of …”
“It’s PRKN 2, which is a form of Parkinson’s,” his wife, Sharon, continued. “It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. It’s like, you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.”
After the surgery to repair damage from his fall, the rocker said that he feels numbness in his right arm, and he keeps getting a cold feeling in his legs. “I don’t know if that’s Parkinson’s or what,” he said. “That’s the problem.”
“It’s very hard for doctors to go, ‘Well, this is your injury from your fall and this is what comes with PRKN 2,” said Sharon, who also revealed that she and Osbourne are heading to Switzerland for more answers.
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Even before his diagnosis, Osbourne said he didn’t really notice anything out of the ordinary, but his wife of nearly four decades did. “It wasn’t really a problem for a long while. I never noticed any different,” he revealed. “Sharon was saying before I had the surgery, ‘Are you OK? You seem different.’”
As for why he’s sharing his diagnosis with fans now? “I’m no good with secrets,” Osbourne admitted. “I cannot walk around with it anymore ‘cause it’s like I’m running out of excuses, you know?”
Rumors had circulated about his health after he postponed all of his 2019 tour dates after his fall. Earlier in 2019, he had also been hospitalized due to “complications from the flu.”
Despite his battle against Parkinson’s, Osbourne has found a way to keep making music, releasing the song “Ordinary Man” on January 10, off the upcoming solo album of the same title. The album, which drops February 21, is the first new music by Osbourne in 10 years, and will feature Elton John, Slash and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and others.
“The only thing I know when it comes to my dad is, ‘What can I do to make him smile?’ And I know that going to the studio makes him happy,” daughter Kelly told GMA about helping her father, who she worried a year ago may never walk again. “So I got him up and got him to the studio, so that’s what I did.”
“Coming from a working class background, I hate to let people down, I hate to not do my job. I’m a lot better now than I was last February,” Osbourne added, noting that he hopes to hit the road again. “I want to see my people, you know?”
And Sharon is confident her husband will make it happen. “He’s gonna get back up there and he’s going to do what he loves to do,” she insisted. “I know it.”