Post Malone nominates Ozzy Osbourne

Post Malone nominates Ozzy Osbourne

As seen in V124's Heroes.

As seen in V124's Heroes.

Photography: Sandy Kim

Text: Molly Lambert

It was Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter, Kelly, who facilitated his feature on Post Malone’s 2019 track “Take What You Want,” also featuring Travis Scott. So it’s only fitting that, when asked about the intergenerational collab, Osbourne would offer Malone some fatherly wisdom: “He’s a nice lad but I’ll tell you, one day he is going to wake up and say, ‘What the fuck have I done,’” Osbourne says, referring to Malone’s facial in. “Them tattoos are there until the day you die.”

Osbourne recently went public about his Parkinson’s disease, which he has been living with since 2003. When he and wife Sharon presented at the Grammys, his first major public appearance following the announcement, not to mention a sidelining neck surgery last year, the couple received thunderous applause. “The surgery on my neck was more of a problem than the Parkinson’s was,” he explains. “The Parkinson’s hasn’t gotten any worse since I was diagnosed in 2003. I just didn’t talk about it at first, [besides telling] a few people. But [things can] sneak out, you know? And I didn’t want to pick up the fucking National Enquirer and [have it] say, ‘Ozzy has got double lung cancer.’ So I said ‘Fuck it.’”

In dealing with his initial diagnosis, Osbourne’s withering matter-of-factness came in handy. “The thing about Parkinson’s is, it’s one of those problems that’s never really spoken about, so you don’t really know what the fuck to expect. I started asking questions and the doctors would say ,‘You haven’t gotten that much worse; you are doing well. It’s not a death sentence. I mean, life is a death sentence!” he says, laughing.

Still, his post-neck surgery recovery was a low point for Osbourne, 71. He went through the pain of surgery and the recovery process without painkillers, because “I’ve been up that road a thousand times and I don’t want to go there.” “I’ve been pretty miserable for this past year,” he recalls in his trademark Brummie accent. “[But] I ain’t dead yet. I ain’t finished. I proved that with [this] album.” The album in question is Ordinary Man, his first in a decade, released via Epic on February 21.“To be honest the album saved my life, because I was getting so depressed, and it got me back doing what my life’s about, you know? Making music again gave me a really big boost, and lo and behold, before I knew it, we had an album. I played it for Sharon and she said, ‘Wow that’s great.’”

Osbourne is funny and charming, reflecting on the countless changes he’s witnessed. California is the land of the fucking new inventions. Now it’s fucking vegans. You can’t be eating anything with a nose and butthole.” Osbourne’s own personal favorite food is “Indian food, curry. I love it.” And he’s droll when talking about the realities of chronic pain—one his family has reckoned with since son Jack’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis a few years ago, which has honed a “one day at a time” mentality. “I mean, if life hasn’t killed me yet…” he says. “There are so many people that are dead. More people have died that I know than in a fucking war you know? So many crew members, not even just celebrities. A lot of people that used drugs are all dead. So if I croak, then so what? If I didn’t wake up tomorrow morning, I don’t think the world will go ‘Oh my god!’ I think they would go; ‘Well, he lasted a long time.’”

Captured at Osbourne’s home, Los Angeles, January 2020

Credits:
Makeup and Hair: Jude Alcalá Lighting technician: Josh Elan Photo assistants: Austin Durrant, Jerry Hsu

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