Ozzy Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948, in Aston. His career has so far spanned three decades. Ozzy Osbourne became famous as the co-founder, lead singer, and songwriter for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath (1970-79). Black Sabbath has sold more than 25 million records in the U.S. alone. In 1979, Ozzie Osbourne left the band to embark on a highly successful solo career. As a solo artist, he has sold more than 35 million records worldwide.
Biography and Career :
In 1979, Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath. Though many believe it is due to drug use, it was in fact due to his failure to show up for gigs often. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio. Depression fueled his drug and alcohol problems.
Ozzy Osbourne divorced his first wife Thelma, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Despite these difficulties Ozzy Osbourne attempted to launch a solo career, managed by Sharon Arden, who was Black Sabbath manager Don Arden's daughter.
He met with considerable success on his first solo effort. With Sharon Arden's help, Ozzy Osbourne was able to gain a recording deal with Jet Records, then a subset of CBS. However, even though Don Arden was Sharon's father, she herself recounts that the band and her as manager, were lucky to be able to record and tour under the tough deal they received from Jet.
The Ozzy Osbourne Band actually started out as The Blizzard of Ozz. When the first album, which was supposed to be a self-titled album, was to be released it was agreed to name it Blizzard of Ozz featuring Ozzy Osbourne, but the record company featured Ozzy Osbourne with the album simply annotated Blizzard of Ozz. After this, things were simplified to The Ozzy Osbourne Band. Drummer Lee Kerslake (of Uriah Heep) and bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley (of Rainbow) however still refer to that era as the "Blizzard of Ozz". The collection immediately sold well with heavy rock fans who were impressed with the well crafted lyrics written by Bob Daisley and, more importantly, the impressive technical ability of guitarist Randy Rhoads.
Commercial Success :
While very successful as a heavy metal act through the 1980s, Ozzy Osbourne also enjoyed some commercial success into the 1990s, starting with 1991's No More Tears, which enjoyed much radio and MTV exposure. It also initiated a practice of bringing in outside composers to help pen Ozzy Osbourne's solo material, instead of relying solely upon the recording ensemble to write and arrange the music. The platinum selling, top-10 No More Tears album was mixed by veteran rock producer Michael Wagener, who also mixed the Live and Loud album which followed in 1993. At this point Ozzy Osbourne expressed his fatigue with the process of touring, and proclaimed his "retirement", which was to be short-lived. Ozzy Osbourne's entire CD catalog was remastered and reissued in 1995. Also that year, he released Ozzmosis and went on stage again, dubbing his concert performances "The Retirement Sucks Tour". A greatest hits package, The Ozzman Cometh was issued in 1997.
Ozzy Osbourne's biggest financial success of the 1990s was a venture named Ozzfest, created by his wife/manager Sharon and managed loosely by his son Jack. Ozzfest was a quick hit with metal fans, spurring up-and-coming groups like Incubus and Slipknot to broad exposure and commercial success. Some acts even had the pleasure to share the bill with a reformed, yet much older Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne reunited with the original members of Sabbath in 1997 and has performed periodically with the band ever since. Since 1997 there have been rumours of a new Black Sabbath album, though Ozzy Osbourne has denied any further studio plans as Black Sabbath.
Ozzy Osbourne's first album of new studio material in seven years, 2001's Down to Earth, met with only moderate success, as did its live follow up, Live at Budokan.
Ozzy Osbourne garnered still greater celebrity status by the unlikely success of his own brand of reality television. The Osbournes, a program featuring the domestic life of Ozzy Osbourne and his family (wife Sharon, children Jack and Kelly, but not elder daughter Aimee, who declined to participate), has turned into one of MTV's greatest hits. It premiered on March 5, 2002, and the final episode aired March 21, 2005.