Ozzy Osbourne cancels Sydney and Melbourne Download shows
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Ozzy Osbourne cancels Sydney and Melbourne Download shows

Download festival headliner Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled next month's performances in Sydney and Melbourne due to ongoing ill health.

The 70-year-old heavy metal star pulled out of his Australian dates just hours after cancelling his March 21 performance at Download in Japan.

The former Black Sabbath frontman, who built one of music's biggest solo careers after being fired from the band in 1979, was hospitalised earlier this month with complications from the flu.

He was due to play at Download in Sydney on March 9 and in Melbourne on March 11.

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Melbourne band Airbourne have been added to the line-up, which also includes Slayer, Judas Priest, Alice in Chains, Ghost and Rise Against among others.

Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled his appearances at Download festival next month.

Ozzy Osbourne has cancelled his appearances at Download festival next month.Credit:Viki Lascaris

"Ozzy recently developed pneumonia and has spent some time in hospital. Thankfully he is now through the worst part, his doctors have advised that he stay at home to recuperate for a full six weeks with no travel," said Osbourne's wife, Sharon Osbourne.

The confirmation followed a statement earlier today on the Download website that revealed the Prince of Darkness had pulled the plug on his Japanese performance.

"Following Ozzy's recent postponement of UK and European tours due to ill health, the Download Japan team has been wishing for a speedy recovery in the hope that he would be able to perform at the festival," the statement said. "Unfortunately however, Ozzy has been forced to cancel his appearance at Download Japan 2019 on doctor's orders. We apologise to his fans, and anyone inconvenienced by this news.

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"Ozzy, who has been suffering from pneumonia, has left the hospital, but has been told to continue to receive treatment at home for a period of six weeks. We wish Ozzy all the best for a full and speedy recovery."

These latest cancellations come after Osbourne pulled out of the UK and European legs of his No More Tours II shows earlier this year, based on doctors orders.

At the time, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said on his website, "it just seems that since October everything I touch has turned to shit", as his battle with the flu was preceded by a thumb infection that also hospitalised him.

"I'm completely devastated for having to postpone the European leg of my tour," he said in late January.  "Again, I apologise to everyone. God bless. Love you all, Ozzy."

Martin Boulton is EG Editor at The Age and Shortlist Editor at the Sydney Morning Herald

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