A heavy metal icon. Ozzy Osbourne has sold over 100 million records worldwide between his solo career and his days as a member of Black Sabbath.
The England native got his start in 1967 when he joined bassist Geezer Butler’s first band, Rare Breed, as a vocalist. Although the group didn’t last long, the duo formed Black Sabbath in 1969 along with guitarist Tony lommi and drummer Bill Ward. The rock group is often credited with pioneering the heavy metal genre.
During a November 2020 interview with GQ, Osbourne was modest when asked if he knew the band was making groundbreaking music at the time.
“We were just having fun and if it felt like a good idea, we did it. Tony lommi is an incredible guitar player. There’s no one who can come up with those demonic riffs like him. He’s the king,” he told the outlet.
The “Crazy Train” singer recorded eight studio albums with Black Sabbath — including the genre-defining records Sabbath, Paranoid and Master of Reality — before he was ejected from the band in 1979 amid struggles with substance abuse.
“Ozzy was going to clubs and getting really out of it and not coming home,” Iommi said for the May 2013 book Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal. “It got to a stage where nothing was happening with him. He came apart on us.”
Osbourne, for his part, claimed in his January 2010 autobiography, I Am Ozzy, that his bandmates were using drugs just as much as he was at the time.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel betrayed by what happened with Black Sabbath,” he wrote. “We were four blokes who’d grown up together a few streets apart. We were like family, like brothers. And firing me for being f—ked up was hypocritical bulls—t. We were all f—ked up.”
The “Bark at the Moon” songwriter embarked on a solo career after his firing, releasing 13 studio albums between 1980 and 2022, the first seven of which received multi-platinum certifications in the U.S. In 1994, he won a Grammy award for Best Metal Performance for his song “I Don’t Want to Change the World.”
As for his personal life, Osbourne married his manager Sharon Osbourne (née Levy) in 1982. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has often credited Sharon with keeping him alive throughout his battle with addiction.
“If it wasn’t for Sharon, I’d be dead. I was doing f—king huge amounts of drugs and booze,” he told Independent in September 2022. “I never stopped. People wouldn’t know if I was gonna go through the door, the roof or the window.”
Ozzy and Sharon welcomed three children after their nuptials: Aimee, born in 1983, Kelly, born in 1984, and Jack, born in 1985. The clan shared glimpses into their life via their MTV reality show, The Osbournes, which aired from 2002 to 2005. Aimee neglected to participate in the series.
While speaking on his SiriusXM Channel, Ozzy’s Bonehead, in January 2023, the “No More Tears” musician reflected on how the show had affected his family.
“I don’t know how the Kardashians have done it for so long. It sent us crazy at the end,” he said. “I am not sorry I did it, but after three or four years I said, ‘Do you know what, we’re going to lose somebody because it is getting too crazy.’”
In addition to his children with Sharon, Ozzy is also father to Elliott, Louis and Jessica with ex-wife Thelma Riley.
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