"You gotta be really careful what you bite off. Don't bite off more than you can chew." -Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne (born John Michael Osbourne, 3.12.1948)
Ozzy Osbourne is an English heavy metal star and the front man of Black Sabbath. He is often dubbed the Prince of Darkness.
Ozzy Osbourne: Childhood
Ozzy Osbourne was born in Aston, Birmingham, England. His parents were Jack, a toolmaker at GEC, Lillian, a worker at the car firm Lucas.
He also had five siblings who he lived with in a small 2 bedroomed house.
As a child he suffered from dyslexia and various other learning disabilities but took part in school plays despite his academic underachievement. He left school at 15 and had various labour jobs including plumbing and working in a slaughterhouse.
He was imprisoned for six weeks as a teenager after failing to pay a fine for shoplifting.
Ozzy Osbourne: Musical career
Ozzy Osbourne began his music career in 1967 with Geezer Butler in a duo called Rare Breed but they broke up after two shows.
They reunited in Polka Tulk Blues with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward but later renamed themselves Earth. However, after a mix up with another band of the same name, they changed it to Black Sabbath in 1969, after the 1963 Italian horror film.
The band incorporated horror, gloominess and the occult in their shows and songs. The 'Black Sabbath' song was inspired by a ghostly apparition that was witnessed by Butler after reading an occult book given to him by Ozzy.
Their debut and second albums 'Black Sabbath' and 'Paranoid' were certified platinum and they garnered much airplay in the beginning of the career but were initially not so popular with music critics.
In 1978, he left the band in favour of a solo porject called 'Blizzard of Ozz'. He soon re-joined, however, at the rest of the band's request but was to leave yet again in 1979 when he was fired for his excessive drug abuse. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio.
In 1980, he reunited The Blizzard of Ozz under the management of Sharon Arden with drummer Lee Kerslake, bassist Bob Daisley, keyboardist Don Airey and guitarist Randy Rhoads. The self-titled debut was credited just under Ozzy's name and reached number 7 on the UK chart. It also contained his well-known singles 'Crazy Train' and 'Mr Crowley'.
He has noted that his second album, 'Diary of a Madman', was his favourite of his albums despite not being one of the best selling.
In 1982, guitarist Rhoads was killed in a plane crash piloted by their tour bus driver Andrew Aycock who also died along with the band's hairdresser who was also on board. Ozzy witnessed the incident and subsequently suffered from depression.
Bernie Torme replaced Rhoads briefly before Brad Gillis took over. They later released a live tribute album for Rhoads.
In 1983, Jake E. Lee joined the band to record third album 'Bark at the Moon', the title track of which became a fan favourite. Lee left in 1987.
In 1987, he remembered the fifth anniversary of Rhoads' death with an album of live recordings, 'Tribute', from previous years.
In 1988, he appeared in 'The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years' documentary.
Zakk Wylde became a new Rhoads replacement who helped record 'No Rest for the Wicked'. The resulting tour saw Ozzy reunite with Geezer Butler on bass and they later released live EP 'Just Say Ozzy'. Butler toured with Ozzy for the next four tours.
In 1994, Ozzy was presented with a Grammy for his track 'I Don't Want to Change the World' from live album 'Live & Loud'.
Following the release of that album, he announced he would embark on his last tour 'No More Tours' though he returned to touring and recording in 1995 with his album 'Ozzmosis' and tour 'The Retirement Sucks Tour'.
Wylde was replaced in 1996 after failing to make a decision on his own musical future.
His biggest success of the nineties was Ozzfest first held in Phoenix, Arizona then in Devore, California in 1996. 5 million people have attended the festival since its inception and Ozzy became the first metal star to earn $50 million in merchandise sales.
He reunited with the original line-up of Black Sabbath in 1997 and still makes occasional appearances with them.
In 2005, he and Sharon were part of the MTV competition show 'Battle for Ozzfest' - a battle of the bands style contest.
In 2001, Ozzy released 'Down to Earth' which featured the globally charting track 'Dreamer'.
In 2002, he performed 'Paranoid' at the Party at the Palace concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
He had his first ever UK number one single in the shape of 'Changes' - a duet he did with his daughter Kelly.
In 2005, he released a box set called Prince of Darkness which included live performances, B-sides, demos, singles, duets and some new material.
In 2009, Ozzy featured on Slash's single 'Crucify The Dead'.
In 2010, as part of the release of his album 'Scream', he held an album signing in Birmingham whereby the first 400 fans recieved wristbands for free access to an intimate show later at the Birmingham Town Hall.
In 2011, the original Black Sabbath line up announced that they would reunite for a world tour and an album entitled '13' though Bill Ward dropped out.
Ozzy Osbourne: Other career ventures
Ozzy Osbourne had his own reality TV show entitled 'The Osbournes' featuring Sharon, Jack and Kelly and it was a major MTV hit.
They then hosted the 30th Annual American Music Awards in 2003 which was filled with bleeps from their repeated swearing. In 2008, they hosted the 2008 BRIT Awards.
Ozzy has made an appearance in a World of Warcraft commercial.
In 2009, he published autobiography 'I Am Ozzy'.
Ozzy Osbourne: Personal Life
Ozzy Osbourne married his first wife Thelma Riley in 1972 and had two children named Louis and Jessica. He also adopted her son Elliot Kingsley. They later divorced due to his drug abuse and constant touring.
He married his manager Sharon Arden and had three children; Aimee, Kelly and Jack; as well as unofficially adopting their friend Robert Marcato. He has six grandchildren.
He has properties in both Los Angeles and Buckinghamshire.
He has more than 15 tattoos including OZZY across his knuckles which he did himself.
He has struggled with drugs and alcohol addictions for most of his life though he is now both clean and sober.
His relationship with Sharon was tumultuous with the pair often physically fighting. In 1989, he even dried to strangle her to death after excessive drug taking.
In 1982 he was arrested urinating on a memorial while wearing his wife's dress and he was banned from San Antonio for 10 years.
In 1984 he was arrested in Memphis for being drunk and disorderly.
He has suffered with tremors for several years which he found out in 2005 was related to Parkin Syndrome.
In 2003, he had an accident with an all-terrain vehicle where he broke his collarbone, ribs and vertebra. He did, however, subsequently recover.