Ozzy Osbourne: David Bowie's Death 'Knocked the S--t Out of Me'

"He was one of the greats," Black Sabbath singer says

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Ozzy Osbourne; David Bowie
Ozzy Osbourne pays tribute to David Bowie, who died Sunday. "He was one of the greats," Black Sabbath singer says Martyn Goodacre/Getty, Terry O'Neill/Getty

Ozzy Osbourne is still making sense of David Bowie's death. "It knocked the shit out of me," he tells Rolling Stone. "I had no idea that he was so ill."

Although the Black Sabbath singer didn't know Bowie very well, the fact that his death came weeks after his good friend Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead shook him. "Everybody's dying around me, but I'm at that age," he says during an interview about Black Sabbath's upcoming tour, which will be published at a later date. "People start to fall off, not one every nine months, one every fucking day, a week. It's happening so frequent now. Fucking hell."

Osbourne recalled seeing Bowie at AA meetings and at random locations. "I briefly met him once when I was going to Hugo's [in Los Angeles] with my wife for breakfast. I'd just been to Barney's Beanery," he says. "I heard someone say, 'Hello, Ozzy.' And it's bloody Bowie shouting across the road to me." He laughs.

"My daughter met him and she was in tears when he died," Osbourne says. "It was fucking crazy. I don't think anybody knew how sick he was. I'd heard the reason he stopped touring was because he had two heart attacks or something. But apparently it was cancer.

"Anyway, he's gone," the Sabbath singer continues. "It's a terrible hole in the fucking business. He was such a talented guy, man. When you go from Ziggy Stardust to his tours, and he's a fashion guy, he was always trying to beat himself and he pulled it off time and time again.

"He was one of the greats."

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