Ozzy Preps New Album, Ozzfest Run

Wild rocker returning to his annual summer hard-rock tour to support first studio album in six years.

Despite a year's worth of very public debate on the topic, Ozzy Osbourne will return to his annual Ozzfest this summer to support his first studio album in six years.

During a recent interview with VH1, Ozzy's wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, said her husband will headline the 2001 edition of the rolling hard-rock summer camp.

Last year, as Ozzfest 2000 approached, Osbourne Management declared the trek would be his last go 'round on the tour, and that Ozzfest would continue with another act at the top of the bill (see "Ozzfest Looks to Fans for Booking Suggestions").

Ozzy himself later softened that stand, telling MTV News, "Never say never. I keep saying to my wife, 'It's just getting bigger and bigger and bigger and I want to do other things.' I'm the kind of the guy where, when I'm out there, I want to be home, and when I'm home, I want to be out there. I'm never happy wherever I am, so all I know is I don't know" (see the MTV News feature "Ozzy & Jack: A Family Affair").

Ozzy's return to the Ozzfest fold will see him touring behind his first new studio effort since 1995's Ozzmosis.

"He's been writing with Zakk Wylde, his guitar player from the '90s," Sharon Osbourne told VH1 about the still untitled project. "He's written with Danny Saber, the producer, and he's been writing with [Alice in Chains guitarist] Jerry Cantrell. And Tim Palmer's gonna produce the record."

Black Grape alum Saber comes to the project after remixing or producing Marilyn Manson, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones, while Palmer's credits include work with U2 (last year's All That You Can't Leave Behind), Tin Machine (1989's Tin Machine) and Robert Plant (1988's Now & Zen).