Ozzy Osbourne to bow out from touring in 2018

NEW YORK - Metal legend Ozzy Osbourne announced on Monday what he said will be his final tour, months after his original band Black Sabbath called it quits.

Osbourne - who has maintained an avid following for five decades with sensational and often sinister live shows - will open the tour on May 5 in Mexico.

The Prince Of Darkness will then tour Chile, Argentina and Brazil before a month of European dates opening on June 1 in Moscow.

The 68-year-old English singer will close out the tour in North America.

"People keep asking me when I'm retiring," Osbourne said in a statement. "This will be my final world tour but I can't say I won't do some shows here and there."

His touring band will mark the return of American lead guitarist Zakk Wylde, who helped define Osbourne's fast-charging sound starting in the late 1980s.

Osbourne replaced Wylde in 2009, with varying accounts behind the split, but recently brought him back on.

Black Sabbath was instrumental in creating heavy metal, taking the foundations of the blues while bringing in a distorted guitar and a fascination with the occult.

Black Sabbath - with Osbourne, co-founder Tony Iommi on guitar and main lyricist Geezer Butler on bass - on Feb 4 returned to the band's hometown of Birmingham for what the rockers said would be their last show.

Osbourne, who was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979 over substance abuse and other concerns, found global success and plenty of controversy as a solo artist.

He notoriously bit the head off a live bat at a 1982 concert. Two decades later, a new generation discovered him as an off-kilter father figure as the MTV reality show The Osbournes followed the family's life.