When Ozzy Osbourne canceled his European tour earlier this month, while also indicating that his touring days are likely over, the global metal community rallied around the living legend, obviously wanting only what's best for Ozzy and his family. That sentiment was shared by another legend and Osbourne friend, Rob Halford of Judas Priest. At 71 years old, Halford undoubtedly understands the tightrope of walk of life on the road and keeping your own self happy and healthy—mentally as well as physically.
"It was terrible for him to have to make that important — and, to be honest, right — decision," Halford recently told Metal Hammer. "He made the right call. I don't think he wanted to put himself through a thing where it's, like, 'Okay, we'll have a go' then have to cancel after a couple of shows…."
Halford continued, saying "I can only reinforce what all of Ozzy's fans, including us in Judas Priest, have said to him… which is that he has done so much for all of us in rock and metal. He's done so much for his fans, and we all know how bad he feels about having to cancel because he lives for those fans. You can see that every time he goes onstage, he's beaming and connecting with everybody…. Even though there's a lot of love for him and a lot of care and understanding, I've seen what the British metal maniacs have been saying and it's exactly how I feel too: put your feet up, [Ozzy]; you've earned it."
Indeed he has. To date, Ozzy Osbourne's total album sales from his years in Black Sabbath, combined with his solo work, are well-over 100 million; He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Black Sabbath, and the UK Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist and as a member of Sabbath. His honours include stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Birmingham Walk of Stars in his hometown of Birmingham, England. And at the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards, he received the Global Icon Award. Add in the mega-successful reality series The Osbournes (and it's recent reboot), and clearly, Osbourne has had a life well-lived thus far.
And don't count him out just yet; just this week Osbourne said he still wants to tour someday, noting that he's "not dying" and his team is currently trying to come up with a way that Ozzy can return to the road safely and stay healthy. (In all seriousness, I think they should really give Glenn Danzig a call; weary of full-scale touring for decades now, Danzig has made art out of the "6-date swing" and the "long weekend jaunt.")
Recently Osbourne told Billy Morrison on SiriusXM, "Never would I have imagined that my touring days would have ended this way. My team is currently coming up with ideas for where I will be able to perform without having to travel from city to city and country to country. So, if I can ever get back to where I can tour again, fine. But right now, if you said to me, 'can you go on the road in a month?' I couldn't say yes. I mean, if I could tour I'd tour. But right now I can't book tours because right now, I don't think I could pull them off."
With so much talk these days about backing tracks and performance "enhancements," it's super-refreshing to hear a legend—not some scrub—but a legend say, "You know what, guys? I can't do it right now. I'll let you know if that changes." Good for him. Keep the faith, Ozzy. The fans have got your back 1000 percent!