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Биография : Ozzy Osbourne

Biography from RollingStone.com

The name Ozzy Osbourne has almost become synonymous with heavy metal music. As a member of the pioneering metal group Black Sabbath, Osbourne practically founded the genre. And thanks to a prolific, three-decade music career, a reputation for no-holds-barred living and persistent allegations of Satanism and animal abuse, Ozzy Osbourne will forever represent the wild, dangerous side of rock 'n' roll.
Born John "Ozzy" Osbourne on December 3, 1948 in Birmingham, England, Osbourne grew up in a working-class family and left school at age 15 to work a series of low-paying jobs, which included a car horn tester and slaughterhouse worker. Dissatisfied with his income, Osbourne turned to petty crime, burglarizing houses and shops before being apprehended andimprisoned. (It was in jail that he received the now-famous tattoo of O-Z-Z-Y across his knuckles.) When he was released, Osbourne decided to go straight. One day he ran into an old friend who was in a band that needed a singer; Osbourne joined immediately, despite having no experience.

Osbourne soon outgrew his friend's band and joined a succession of local rock acts, eventually ending up in an outfit called Earth, featuring Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, and Bill Ward on drums. After discovering another band of the same name, the members of Earth changed their moniker to Black Sabbath, taking the name from an old Boris Karloff movie.

Black Sabbath released their self-titled debut album on Friday, Feb. 13, 1970 and, almost immediately, developed a cult following in both Britain and America. Their following expanded further with the release of their hit 1971 follow-up, Paranoid, whose title single became a radio staple and a heavy metal anthem.

Later that year the band released their third album, Master of Reality, followed by Vol. 4 (1972), Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1975), Sabotage (1975) and Technical Ecstacy (1976).

During this period Osbourne married Thelma Mayfair and twice became a father. Unfortunately, he (and the rest of the band) also became seriously dependent on alcohol and cocaine, and gained a reputation for trashing cars and hotel rooms. Sometime while at home in 1976 Osbourne grew frustrated and, in anger, shot a bunch of chickens he kept in a coop in his backyard, starting rumors that he tortured animals for fun. Black Sabbath was also plagued by allegations of Satanism because of misinterpreted lyrics and occult imagery.

In 1977 Osbourne's father passed away, causing him to leave the band for a period before the release of their next album, 1978's Never Say Die. Osbourne became increasingly uninterested in Black Sabbath and stopped showing up for practices. At the end of the "Never Say Die" tour the band had had enough, and Tony Iommi kicked Osbourne out of Black Sabbath, replacing him with ex-Rainbow vocalist Ronny James Dio.

After months of despair and drug abuse, which ultimately led to his divorce from Thelma, Osbourne met Sharon Arden (daughter of rock manager Don Arden), who helped him turn his life around. With a keen business sense, Sharon encouraged Osbourne to launch a solo career and, taking on the role of manager, helped him orchestrate every move along the way.

Osbourne joined forces with Quiet Riot guitarist Randy Rhoads to begin work on his 1980 solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz. The album was a resounding success, reaching platinum status, and Osbourne hit the road with an equally triumphant tour, performing Black Sabbath tunes as well as his new material.

In 1981 Osbourne released his follow-up, Diary of a Madman, which eventually sold more than five million copies and firmly established Osbourne as a solo artist in his own right. Unfortunately, the infamous "Diary of a Madman" tour was one of the most troubled outings in rock history, with misfortune, bad publicity and protesters dogging Osbourne the whole way. Osbourne's new gimmick for the tour was to throw raw meat into the audience, and soon he started getting pelted with disgusting things in return, including, at one point, a live bat. Thinking it was a rubber toy, Osbourne bit into the animal only to find it was alive! Osbourne had to receive a series of rabies shots after the bizarre incident, which was quickly blown out of proportion by the media and, of course, caused his record sales to skyrocket.

Later, during February of 1982, Osbourne urinated on a part of the Alamo during a drunken night in San Antonio, outraging Texans and landing him in jail on charges of defacing a national monument. The next month, while stopped at an airstrip in Florida, the bus driver, who was also a private pilot, offered to take the band's entourage on rides in a rented plane. With Randy Rhoads and Osbourne's wardrobe assistant on board, the intoxicated bus driver/pilot tried to "buzz" Osbourne's tour bus, but instead slammed the plane into a garage, killing everyone aboard. Rhoads was replaced by Brad Gillis from Night Ranger and the tour continued, but Osbourne remained deeply depressed by the loss of his friend and guitarist.

Later that summer, Osbourne married his long-time girlfriend/manager Arden and recorded a live album Speak of the Devil, a collection of BlackSabbath covers.

Throughout this time Osbourne grew increasingly unstable due to his growing drug problem and lingering depression over the death of his bandmate. To celebrate a new contract with CBS Records, Osbourne showed up at a gathering of Epic Record executives carrying two doves, which his wife suggested releasing as a gimmicky "peace offering." Osbourne arrived so intoxicated that he bit the head off one of the birds, causing yet another media uproar.

After this event Osbourne entered rehab, ironically emerging to find himself the subject of a lawsuit by angry parents who claimed their sons committed suicide after listening to Osbourne's anti-alcohol song "Suicide Solution," written as a tribute to AC/DC member Bon Scott, who died of an alcohol overdose. Osbourne quickly won the suit.

For his third studio album, 1984's Bark at the Moon, Osbourne recruited guitarist Jake E. Lee. The album was a commericial success, eventually reaching double platinum status. After a two-and-a-half year hiatus and another lineup switch, Osbourne returned in 1988 with No Rest for the Wicked, featuring new guitarist Zakk Wylde.

By 1991 Osbourne had completely sobered up and released a softer, more personal album, No More Tears. Osbourne announced that the 1992 "No More Tears" tour would be his swansong and a double-live album, Live and Loud, was released in 1993 following the "farewell" tour. The album contained a live version of the song "I Don't Wanna Change the World," which earned Osbourne his first Grammy Award, for "Best Metal Performance."

Bouyed by the success of the tour and album, Osbourne decided to put his "retirement" on hold and returned with Ozzmosis in late 1995. Zakk Wylde then left the band and was replaced by Randy Rhoad's friend Joe Holmes.

In the fall of 1996 Osbourne headlined the Ozzfest festival tour, a gathering of '90s heavy metal acts (including a nearly reunited Black Sabbath) which continued through the summer of 1997. Grossing more than $12 million, Ozzfest proved to be the second most successful tour of the year, behind Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair. In November of 1997, Osbourne released The Ozzman Cometh, a double-CD retrospective including never-before-heard rehearsal tapes of four classic Sabbath songs.

In the summer of 1998, with no hint of slowing down, Osbourne reassembled Ozzfest and went back on the road. In 1998 Ozzy got his old band together with Zakk on guitar, Castillo on drums and Inez on bass but it lasted only for a short while. The three guys left again and back came Holmes, Bordin and Trujillio. In November Ozzy did a rap version of Iron Man together with Busta Rhymes. 1999 Ozzy spent most of the time working with the Black Sabbath reunion. In late March 2000 he hired Roy Mayorga to replace Mike Bordin on drums. Roy was again replaced after three weeks by Brian Tichy for the touring. In December 2000 ex-Mötley Crue drummer Tommy Lee joined Ozzy and his band. On April 10th 2001 Ozzys mother passed away.