In a new interview with Metal Hammer, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has shared his words of support for fellow metal icon Ozzy Osbourne after the latter's announcement of his 'retirement' from touring.
“I haven't spoken to Ozzy in person, but I sent him a text the other day congratulating him on his two Grammys – 'well done bab, love ya!'" Rob says, referring to Ozzy's wins for Best Rock Album and Best Metal Performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards for Ordinary Man and Degradation Rules respectively.
Priest were set to support Ozzy for his No More Tours 2 run in 2019, which was postponed and ultimately cancelled last month due to ongoing health issues.
"I can only reinforce what all of Ozzy’s fans, including us in Judas Priest, have said to him though, which is that he has done so much for all of us in rock and metal," he continues. "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.
"It was terrible for him to have to make that important – and, to be honest, right – decision. 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. 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, you’ve earned it!"
Due to contractual obligations, Priest have been unable to fully tour the UK since the release of their 2018 album Firepower. But as Rob tells it, there may be some hope for the band to play in the UK before they start the cycle for their upcoming 19th studio album.
"Now, Priest are frantically trying to figure out if we can do something this year to reward all those fans who have been waiting so patiently," Rob admits. "We’ve been away from our British fans for too long, and we’re trying behind the scenes to put things together for this year if we can make it happen and if we’ve got something to announce, we absolutely will.”