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Ozzy Osbourne tour manager dies during 'Ozzfest' tour

By Wade Paulsen, 07/25/2003 

Sharon Osbourne's brainchild, the 2003 Ozzfest tour, continues to attract attention to her husband Ozzy Osbourne for all the wrong reasons. First, Ozzy, perhaps overjoyed that MTV renewed his family's reality show The Osbournes for another season, missed concerts, claiming to be suffering from laryngitis. Then, when he returned to the tour, his performances were slammed by reviewers, such as this critic from the Akron Beacon-Journal who referred to him as "winded" and "uneven" and noted that his "age and years of abuse showed." Now comes news from the Detroit Free Press that the 54-year-old Ozzy's longtime tour manager, Bobby Thomson, died in his hotel room in suburban Detroit on Thursday night.

Thomson, 50, a native Scot who had worked for Ozzy since 1980 and, like the Osbournes, emigrated from the U.K. to California with his family, had been suffering from throat cancer for the last 18 months, according to an Ozzfest publicist. Nevertheless, his death appeared to be unexpected, and Ozzfest staffers were said to be "visibly shaken." An autopsy will be conducted today, but Ozzfest continues to slog on despite it all.

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