JUDAS PRIEST is "looking at feasible opportunities" following the cancelation of the band's European tour with Ozzy Osbourne.
The trek, originally set for 2019 and then rescheduled three times, was officially scrapped this week because of a spinal injury Osbourne suffered four years ago and other health problems. The tour was scheduled to begin in Helsinki, Finland, on May 3, and include gigs in Nottingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Dublin and London, before finishing in Ozzy's original hometown of Birmingham on June 14.
On Wednesday (February 1),JUDAS PRIEST released the following statement via social media: "We send all our love and support for Ozzy and thank our fans in the UK and Ireland especially for your loyalty by standing with us..... Right now we're looking at feasible opportunities to see each other again soon and will post update's accordingly".
Four years ago, shortly after JUDAS PRIEST's European tour with Ozzy was postponed for the first time when he was admitted to the hospital due to complications from the flu, PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked by Australia's Heavy if Osbourne's health scare made him question his own mortality. At the time, Rob said: "We love Ozzy to death. Oh my God! When you say 'Ozzy,' your head is full of this remarkable man's career and all the wonderful things he's done for rock and roll, for metal. He's touched so many millions of people's lives, and we're really, really happy that he's recovering.
"Life is life. And you do what you can to deal with the adversity that puts itself in your path. We're going through that with Glenn [Tipton, JUDAS PRIEST guitarist]. Let me just rephrase that — Glenn's going through that himself with his great battle against Parkinson's [disease] that he's dealing with. And he's a wonderful example — a really, really strong, powerful example — of somebody that's fighting back and pushing back and still living an active life with this challenge.
"Glenn comes out and joins us when he can. He's still an active, full member of JUDAS PRIEST. If he's not able to make [any of the shows], he's with us in spirit, in the songs that he's written, and he's up on the big screen.
"So, yeah, it is what it is. We're all getting on. But we're absolutely determined to keep going and live our lives in metal and share it with our fans."
The members of PRIEST have dealt with various health setbacks in recent years. Halford publicly revealed that he battled prostate cancer during the pandemic. He previously mentioned his cancer battle in the new chapter added to the updated paperback edition of his autobiography, "Confess". In "Confess", Halford revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer after experiencing symptoms for at least a couple of years.
Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during the band's performance at the Louder Than Life festival in September 2021. Faulkner was rushed to the UofL Health - Jewish Hospital where the cardiothoracic surgery team needed approximately 10 hours to complete a life-saving surgery.
Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nine years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower". He was replaced by "Firepower" producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT.