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Ozzy Osbourne reveals Parkinson's diagnosis

"It's been terribly challenging for us all," Osbourne said.
Image: Ozzy Osbourne visits the SiriusXM Studios in New York City.
Ozzy Osbourne visits the SiriusXM Studios in New York City.Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images file

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne revealed Tuesday that he has Parkinson's disease.

In an interview with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America," Osbourne and his wife and manager, Sharon, said the rocker was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder last February.

"It's been terribly challenging for us all. I did my last show New Year's Eve at The Forum," Osbourne, 71, said referring to his Dec. 31, 2018 show in Los Angeles. "Then I had a bad fall. I had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed all my nerves."

Osbourne was also hospitalized in February following complications from the flu, his wife said at the time.

Sharon Osbourne said her husband has the Parkin 2 gene. "There's so many different types of Parkinson's — it's not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body," Sharon said. "And it's, it's like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day."

She said the heavy metal legend would be seeking immune therapy in Switzerland. Osbourne noted he was "lucky enough to be able to afford all that" and thinking about starting a foundation for people who can't.

In November, Osbourne announced that his "NO MORE TOURS 2" tour, which was originally scheduled to begin this month, would be pushed back to October.

"I feel better now that I’ve owned up to the fact that I have a case of Parkinson’s," Osbourne said. "I just hope they hang on and they’re there for me because I need them," he said of his fans. "They’re my air."

"I just can’t wait to get back out on the road again," Osbourne said. "I ain't done yet, I ain’t gonna go anywhere yet."

The rock legend, born John Michael Osbourne in the U.K., gained fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of Black Sabbath. During his time with the heavy metal band, he became known as "The Prince of Darkness."

Drug and alcohol abuse got him fired from the band in 1979, but he became successful on his own, releasing nearly a dozen solo albums, and shocking fans with stunts like biting the heads off living creatures, like a bat and a dove.

Osbourne has reunited with Black Sabbath on several occasions, frequently at Ozzfest, a heavy metal and hard rock festival he founded with Sharon.

Osbourne and Sharon married in 1982. The couple has three children, two of whom, Kelly and Jack, appeared with their parents on the MTV reality show, "The Osbournes," which ran from 2002 to 2005. Osbourne also has three children from a previous marriage.