After nearly two decades of speculation regarding the medical circumstances surrounding Black Sabbath vocalist John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne, the Godfather of Heavy Metal and self-styled Prince of Darkness sat down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America alongside his wife and manager Sharon to reveal that the 71-year-old Brummie has been diagnosed with a form of Parkinson’s disease.
“It’s PRKN 2,” Sharon clarified. “It’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body.” Describing the unpredictable effects of the degenerative disorder, she explained: “You have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.”
While recovering from a bout of pneumonia in April of 2019, Osbourne suffered a serious fall at his home in Los Angeles, aggravating injuries he had sustained in an ATV crash in Berkshire in 2003 that broke eight ribs, his collar bone, and a vertebra in his neck, resulting in the cancellation of the remainder of his No More Tours 2 dates. “I had to have surgery on my neck,” he told Roberts of last year’s fall. “They cut nerves when they did the surgery. I’d never heard of nerve pain, and it’s a weird feeling.”
The diagnosis, which the Osbourne family received nearly a year ago in February of 2019, provides a context for behavior abnormalities – including Ozzy’s shaky unsteadiness, difficulties with walking, and slurred monotone – that viewers have witnessed over the years of the family’s MTV reality television series The Osbournes, as well as its more recent A&E spinoff Ozzy & Jack’s World Tour.
Having exhausted conventional medical options, the Osbournes intend to travel to Switzerland in April of this year to seek treatment from a professor who “deals with getting your immune system at its peak.” Though the couple obviously didn’t go into details regarding specific therapies, it’s possible they may have been referring to Prof. Dr. med. Carsten Möller of the Bellevue Medical Group in Zürich, who’s focused his study on Parkinson’s disease for over twenty years, specializing in early diagnosis, related sleep disorders, and advanced-stage treatment of the illness.
If nothing else, the interview seems to have provided Ozzy Osbourne a measure of psychological comfort, easing his family’s burden of carrying the diagnosis in silence. “I feel better now that I’ve owned up to the fact that I have a case of Parkinson’s and I just hope that they hang on there for me, because I need them,” he said of his fans. “I just can’t wait to get about and get back on the road again. That’s killing me. I need it, you know. That’s my drug today. I’ve done all the other crap, left that by the wayside and survived that.”
“I ain’t done yet,” he assured Roberts in customary heavy-metal fashion. “I ain’t gonna go anywhere yet.”