Ozzy Osbourne was born in the Aston area of Birmingham, England to Lilian (née Unitt) 1916–2001, a non-observant Catholic who worked days at a factory and John Thomas “Jack” Osbourne 1915–1977, who worked night shifts as a toolmaker at the General Electric Company. Osbourne was the forth of six children, three older sister and two younger brothers.
In late 1967, Geezer Butler formed his first band, Rare Breed, and soon recruited Osbourne to serve as vocalist. The band however broke up after two shows. Butler and Ozzy later reunited along with Tony Lommi and drummer Bill Ward,from Mythology and called themselves Earth. They later changed their name to Black Sabbath after being accidentally booked for a show instead of a different band with the same name.
Their debut album Black Sabbath and Paranoid sold huge numbers, as well as getting considerable airplay. Five moths after releasing paranoid the band released Master of Reality ,which was certified gold in less than two months and received platinum certification in the 1980s and double platinum in the early 21st century.
In September 1972 they released Volume 4 which received gold status in less than a month and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath in November 1973 which received favorable reviews,in the main stream press for the first time. The album marked the band’s fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the US. Sabotage was released in July 1975 and Technical Ecstasy on 25 September 1976 .
In 1978, Osbourne left the band for three months to pursue a solo project he called Blizzard of Ozz . Three members of the band Necromandus, who had supported Sabbath in Birmingham when they were called Earth, backed Osbourne in the studio and briefly became the first incarnation of his solo band.
Osbourne rejoined Sabbath at the request of other band members and they released Never Say Die!
Osbourne was however fired on 27 April 1979 and replaced with former Rainbow singer, Ronnie James Dio, due to unreliability and excessive drug abuse.
In late 1979, under the management of the Ardens, Osbourne formed the Blizzard of Ozz, featuring drummer Lee Kerslake of Uriah Heep, bassist-lyricist Bob Daisley of Rainbow and later Uriah Heep, keyboardist Don Airey of Rainbow and later Deep Purple, and guitarist Randy Rhoads of Quiet Riot. Together they released Blizzard of Ozz which brought Osbourne a lot of success, thus commencing his solo career. As of August 1997, it had achieved quadruple platinum status.
They released a second album Diary of a Madman but on 19 March 1982 while at the albums tour in Florida and a week away from playing at Madison Square Garden, Osbourne lost his friend Rhoads when a light aircraft piloted by Andrew Aycock, the band’s tour bus driver, carrying Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood, the band’s costume and make-up designer crashed while performing low passes over the band’s tour bus. Osbourne fell into deep depression and the tour was cancelled for two weeks.
Bernie Torme replaced Rhoads although Robert Sarzo, brother of the band’s bassist Rudy Sarzo had been initially chosen.The tour resumed on April 1, 1982, but Tormé’s blues-based style was unpopular with fans and after a handful of shows returned to England to finish his solo album which he’d begun before coming to America, Night Ranger’s Brad Gillis replaced him and finished the tour.
In the 1990s, Ozzy begun the Ozzfest, created and managed by his wife/manager Sharon and assisted by his son Jack. The first Ozzfest was held in Phoenix, Arizona on 25 October 1996 and in Devore, California on 26 October. Since its beginning, five million people have attended Ozzfest which has grossed over US$100 million and the festival helped promote many new hard rock and heavy metal acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
On october 16 2001 Osbourne released Down to Earth, his first album of new studio material in six years. A live album, Live at Budokan, followed in 2002.
On 8 December 2003 had an accident with his quad bike. He broke his collar bone,eight ribs and a neck vertebra. An operation was performed to lift the collarbone, which was believed to be resting on a major artery and interrupting blood flow to the arm. Since the quad accident, apart from some short-term memory problems, he fully recovered and headlined the 2004 Ozzfest, in the reunited Black Sabbath.
In January 2016, the band began a farewell tour, titled “The End“, signifying the final performances of Black Sabbath. The final shows of The End tour took place at the Genting Arena in their home city of Birmingham, England on 2 and 4 February 2017, with Tommy Clufetos replacing Bill Ward as the drummer for the final show.
Apart from his music career ,Osbourne appeared in a November 2017 episode of Gogglebox along with other UK celebrities such as Ed Sheeran, former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as part of Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK’s Stand Up to Cancer fundraising campaign.
In November 2017, Osbourne entered into a new realm of sponsorship as he signed on as an ambassador of a rock-themed online casino known as Metal Casino, which was founded by metal music fans in August 2017. In February 2019, Osbourne’s merchandising partner announced that Ozzy would have his own branded online slots game as part of the NetEnt Rocks music-themed portfolio.
In 1971, Osbourne met his first wife Thelma (née Riley) and they were married in 1971.Together they had Jessica and Louis while Osbourne adopted Thelma’s son Elliot.
Osbourne married his manager Sharon Arden on 4 July 1982 and the couple had three children together, Aimee, Kelly and Jack.
Ozzys life has been surrounded by a number of controversies. In 1981, after signing his first solo career record deal, Osbourne bit the head off a dove during a meeting with CBS Records executives in Los Angeles. Apparently he had planned to release doves into the air as a sign of peace, but due to being intoxicated at the time, he instead grabbed a dove and bit its head off.
On 20 January 1982, Osbourne bit the head off a bat that he thought was rubber while performing at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa.
On New Year’s Eve 1983, Canadian youth James Jollimore killed a woman and her two sons in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after listening to the “Bark at the Moon” song.
In 1984, California teenager John McCollum committed suicide while listening to Osbourne’s Suicide Solution. Despite knowing McCollum suffered clinical depression, his parents sued Osbourne for their son’s death but the courts ruled in Osbourne’s favour, saying there was no connection between the song and McCollum’s suicide. Osbourne was sued for the same reason in 1991 by the parents of Michael Waller, for $9 million, but the courts once again ruled in Osbourne’s favour.