British rock star Ozzy Osbourne is known for being the frontman of multi-platinum heavy metal band Black Sabbath, his solo career following his band’s success, and his outrageous antics on stage. Although Osbourne started with serious setbacks a child, he eventually overcame them to become one of the greatest rock stars of all time.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Early life
Ozzy Osbourne was born John Michael Osbourne on December 3rd, 1948 to parents Lillian Osbourne and John Thomas Osbourne in Birmingham, England. Osbourne was the fourth child out of six. He had three older sisters named Jean, Iris, and Gillian, as well as two younger brothers named Paul and Tony. The family lived in a small two-bedroom house on 14 Lodge Road in Aston.
Osbourne was given his moniker “Ozzy” in primary school, and the name stuck from there. School was difficult for the young Osbourne due to his struggles with multiple learning disabilities, including dyslexia and ADHD. He was drawn to the stage as a result. Osbourne also indulged in music often, and his favorite band was The Beatles. In fact, The Beatles inspired the young Osbourne to become a rock star.
At age 15, Osbourne left school and worked various odd jobs. In dire financial straits, he attempted burglary multiple times – until it landed him in jail for six weeks. Osbourne’s father refused to pay the fine to bail him out, insisting on teaching him a lesson.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Career
In 1967, Osbourne was recruited as vocalist by Geezer Butler for his first band Rare Breed. However, the band only played two shows before disbanding. Osbourne later met guitarist Tommy Iommi and drummer Bill Ward after their band Mythology had broken up, and the trio proceeded to form a band along with Geezer Butler. They originally named themselves Earth, but later settled on the name Black Sabbath after an Italian film with the same name. The group aimed to frighten yet inspire listeners with their dark music.
Black Sabbath and Osbourne quickly gained mainstream recognition. Warner Bros. Records, their label had invested a relatively small sum into the band, and were surprised with their instant cult following in the USA and Britain. Osbourne’s ominous singing combined with Geezer Butler’s dark lyrics and the other band member’s skills all helped create their iconic sound.
Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album on Friday the 13th in February of 1970. The album skyrocketed to number 8 on the UK Albums Charts and to number 23 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, selling over one million copies over the one year it remained in its place.
The band’s successful debut prompted them to release their second album Paranoid just seven months later in September of 1970. Paranoid received similar acclaim as their debut, with songs such as “Iron Man” and “Paranoid” becoming iconic hits.
In 1971, Black Sabbath released their third album titled “Master of Reality”, which reached the top ten in both the USA and Britain. It was the first Black Sabbath record to have acoustic songs.
The band tried a new approach in 1971 with Black Sabbath Vol. 4, experimenting with a harder, heavier sound. The band’s experimentation
was nonetheless appreciated by their fans. The band belted out albums until the late 70’s, releasing Sabbath Bloody Sabbath in 1973, Sabotage (1975), Technical Ecstasy (1976), and Never Say Die (1978).
In 1979 Osbourne was kicked out of Black Sabbath for being unreliable and having problems with substance abuse. However, his departure could have also been a result with his constant struggles with guitarist Tommy Iommi, who would often force Osbourne to record his vocals over and over, as well as attempt to assert total control over the songwriting process. Iommi and Osbourne had disliked each other ever since their primary school days.
Undeterred, Osbourne launched his own solo career in 1981. His first solo release, Blizzard of Ozz, was an instant hit in the USA and later went on to become a multi-platinum award winning album. He released his second album, Diary of a Madman, later on in the same year. In 1983, he released Bark at the Moon, his first album he wrote all the lyrics for. It later received a certified Gold award in the US. He released The Ultimate Sin in 1986 and No Rest for the Wicked in 1988.
Osbourne only released two albums in the 90’s, No More Tears 1991 and Ozzmosis in 1995. He originally intended to retire sometime in the 90’s, but his plans changed. However, he and his wife began to focus efforts on organizing
Ozzfest, a yearly music festival welcoming musicians of various metal genres hosted in locations in the USA and sometimes Europe.
In 2007 and 2010, Ozzy released two more albums, Black Rain and Scream respectively.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Personal life
Osbourne has married twice, first to Thelma Riley, and then to media host Sharon Arden. He adopted her son named Elliot Kingsley (born 1966). The pair had two children together named Jessica (born November 22, 1972) and Louis (born 1975) prior to their divorce.
Osbourne married Sharon Arden on July 4th, 1982. He intentionally chose to get married on July 4th so he would never forget his anniversary. Sharon Arden and Ozzy Osbourne had three children together, named Aimee (born September 2nd, 1983), Kelly (born October 27, 1984), and Jack (born November 8th, 1985).
The Osbourne family is one of the richest families in Britain with an estimated net worth of £100 million (approx. 140 million USD). The family starred in a reality TV show on MTV from 2002 to 2005.
What is Ozzy Osbourne Doing Now in 2018?
Ozzy Osbourne released the tour dates for Black Sabbath’s farewell tour in September 2015. The tour started on January 25, 2016, and concluded on February 25th, 2016. Although the band has announced similar tours before, Osbourne and the other band members have sworn that this is really it. The band had plans to release one final album before their retirement, yet Ozzy cancelled it, citing a lack of interest. Ozzy seems content to enjoy his retirement, and after nearly fifty years of hard rocking, and harder living, he’s probably earned a break.
Osbourne has also discontinued Ozzfest. The festival had its final event in July of 2015.