British rocker Ozzy Osbourne has confirmed long-standing speculation that he suffers from Parkinson's disease.
"Well, it has been terribly challenging for us all," Osbourne, 71, a 2006 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee with his former band Black Sabbath, said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." "I did my last show New Year's Eve at The Forum," he told "GMA" co-anchor Robin Roberts of his Dec. 31, 2018, concert at that venue outside Los Angeles. "Then I had a bad fall. I had to have surgery on my neck, which screwed all my nerves. I found out that I have a mild form of ..."
"It's 'Parkin 2,' " interjected his longtime wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, 67, referring to the second of five stages of the progressive nervous-system disorder (PRKN 2). "It's not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination," she added of the disease, which has no known cure, "but it does affect certain nerves in your body. And it’s, like, you have a good day, a good day and then a really bad day."
Stage 2 is indicated by worsening but still not severe symptoms of tremors and rigidity, and problems walking, according to the Parkinson's Foundation.
Of his silence about the disease, which had been rumored since at least 2010, Osbourne explained: "It wasn't really a problem for a long while, y'know? And I never noticed any difference." But after the fall and subsequent medical treatment, which resulted in the cancellation of his 2019 tour dates, he determined he could no longer keep it secret. "I cannot walk around with it anymore, because it's like I'm running out of excuses, y'know? … I feel better now that I've owned up to the fact that I have a case of Parkinson's."
Calling 2019, "the worst, longest, most painful, miserable year of my life," he said he looked forward to perform once more. His website lists North American and European tour dates from May 27 to Dec. 7, including a June 22 stop at Madison Square Garden.
"I just can't wait to get well and have to go on the road again," he said. "That's what's killing me. I need it, y'know? That's my drug today. … And I ain't gone yet. I ain't going to go anywhere yet."
Exclusive subscription offer
Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.
Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.SUBSCRIBE NOW