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Ozzy (and Sharon) Osbourne

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1948 -

Musician

John Michael Osbourne (born December 3, 1948, in Aston, a suburb of Birmingham, West Midlands, England), better known as Ozzy Osbourne, was the lead singer of the rock band Black Sabbath and later a popular solo artist. Osbourne has been married twice and is father to five children: Jessica Hobbs and Louis Osbourne by first wife Thelma; and Aimee, Kelly and Jack, by current wife Sharon. He is also a football fan, supporting Aston Villa.

Ozzy Osbourne, who earned his nickname in his youth, sought a career as a rock singer after hearing The Beatles on the radio, in hopes that it would lift him out of his difficult working-class existence, in which he had some scrapes with the law. Ozzy was not a particulary talented criminal. He wore gloves to steal from houses and shops so as not to leave fingerprints, but they were fingerless gloves and he was soon arrested. He was sentenced to six weeks at Winson Green Prison. He used his time there to give himself his now famous tattoos: OZZY across his knuckles and a smiling face on each knee to cheer himself up. He had several jobs before turning to music, including testing car horns in the Lucas car factory and on the kill floor of an abattoir.

Osbourne slowly began to realize his ambitions in 1967; after filling in on vocals for a band called The Music Machine, he landed the singer's duties in an outfit called The Approach, playing R&B tunes in a church basement. Personal differences led Ozzy to split with the group, however. Thanks in part to the advantage of owning his own P.A. equipment his next gig was with a group called Rare Breed, where he met and played with future Black Sabbath bandmate, bassist Terence "Geezer" Butler. Rare Breed did not last long, but Osbourne's collaboration with Butler did; in late 1968, Butler was invited to form a new group with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward, both formerly of a fairly successful local group called Mythology. At Butler's urgings, Osbourne was brought on board, along with saxophonist Alan Clarke and another guitar player, Jim Phillips, to form the Polka Tulk Blues Band. Ozzy came up with the name after seeing it on a can of talcum powder. Iommi's style of guitar playing did not mesh well with Phillips's, however, nor with Clarke's saxophone. Polka Tulk disbanded, to reform almost immediately as a four-piece consisting of Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, and Ward.

Black Sabbath met with swift and enduring success; their early records such as their self-titled debut, Paranoid and Master of Reality in particular are considered heavy metal canon, and selections from Ozzy's Sabbath days have featured prominently in his solo performances. As the group began to take off, Ozzy met and married his first wife, Thelma Mayfair, in 1971. Thelma had a five-year-old son, Elliot Kingsley, from a previous marriage, and Ozzy adopted the boy. Together, Ozzy and Thelma had a daughter, Jessica Starshine, in 1973, and a son, Louis Jon, in 1975.

The rigors of touring and financial success combined to lead some of the band members to drug and alcohol abuse, including Osbourne. Nevertheless, the group remained a steadily successful act for over eight years. Over the duration, however, Iommi began to take the band's music in a more progressive and experimental direction, to Osbourne's distaste. Osbourne was kicked out of the group briefly after the band's 1976 effort Technical Ecstasy, and Sabbath went so far as to begin writing and recording with a new singer. Ozzy returned however, to record and tour behind 1978's Never Say Die, after which he left the group again in 1979, to be replaced by Ronnie James Dio. Depressed, his drug and alcohol abuse continued. He divorced his first wife, Thelma, and developed bipolar disorder. Undaunted, Osbourne attempted to launch a solo career, and met with considerable success on his very first effort.

According to press accounts, Osbourne's antics progressively worsened during the 1980s, his alcohol and drug abuse continuing. He famously bit off the head of a dove during a meeting with his newly signed record company, CBS — though it has been speculated that this was a calculated stunt meant to intimidate the label executives into giving Osbourne more favorable contractual terms. Ozzy was also hospitalized for rabies vaccinations after biting the head off of a stunned bat (which he later claimed to have thought was a rubber toy) thrown on stage by a fan. He was arrested after urinating on The Alamo while wearing one of his wife's dresses, for which he was banned from San Antonio, Texas for the next ten years. He later underwent a number of treatments for alcoholism and drug abuse.

In March 1982, while in Florida for the Diary of A Madman tour, a light aircraft carrying Rhoads crashed while performing low passes over the band's tour bus. The pilot (also the tour bus driver) clipped the parked bus and crashed into a nearby house, killing himself, Rhoads, and the band's tour hairdresser. Osbourne subsequently fell into a deep depression, compounded by the death of his father.

Sharon Osbourne (b. Sharon Rachel Arden in London October 9, 1952) is a music promoter as well asOzzy's manager. She isthe daughter of rock and roll entrepreneur Don, and Hope Arden. She met Ozzy Osbourne at the age of 17, while working as a receptionist for her father, who was the manager of Black Sabbath.

When Ozzy was fired from Black Sabbath, Sharon took over his management .They were married in Maui, Hawaii on July 4, 1982. Sharon and Ozzy bought out Ozzy's contract from her father in that year for GBP 1.5 million, a move that tarnished her relationship with her father for nearly 20 years. Sharon was so estranged from her parents that when her mother died in 1998 she had not met her grandchildren, and Sharon did not attend the funeral. However, she and Don Arden were reconciled in 2001 after Sharon had glimpsed him on a Los Angeles Street.

In 2002, Sharon revealed that she has adopted the teenage son of a woman who recently died from colon cancer. Robert Marcato has been a friend of her daughters for years and Sharon was moved to help when his mother died of the same disease she herself is currently battling.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ozzy Osbourne".

Credits: Wikipedia

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