Happy birthday OZZY! Rock's Prince of Darkness turns 60 today (03Dec08), and to celebrate, WENN went hunting for the oddest facts about the heavy metal legend.
A man who is seriously living on borrowed time after suicide attempts, all-terrain vehicle accidents and bat biting blunders, Ozzy has become one of rock's true survivors - and we salute him.
Famous for his career rebirths - Ozzy Osbourne went from dyslexic teenage hoodlum, with no apparent future, to fronting heavy metal supergroup formed Black Sabbath. He went solo after he was fired and all his post-Sabbath albums were huge hits. Then, when his music career started dwindling, he resurfaced as a reality TV star - and the man behind Ozzfest.
There's just no writing Ozzy off.
Here's a list of Osbourne facts that may have passed you by:
- Ozzy was named a Living Legend at the Marshall Classic Rock: Roll of Honour Awards in November (08). On receiving the award from Slash in London, Osbourne joked, "I hope I don't die on the way home."
- His successful Ozzfest tour came about after he was barred from joining the Lollapalooza tour in America.
- Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne's joint fortune is believed to be around $110 million (GBP73 million).
- The couple's three children, Aimee, Jack and Kelly were all born 13 months apart.
- His nicknames include The Great Ozz, The Godfather of Metal and The Blizzard of Oz.
- Before they became Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward went by the moniker Earth.
- Ozzy has wed twice. He was married to his first wife, Thelma Mayfair, from 1971 to 1982. They had two children together. He wed his manager Sharon in July, 1982.
- His former bassist/lyricist, Bob Daisley, wrote Suicide Solution, a song about the dangers of alcoholism, about Ozzy. Osbourne always thought the lyrics to the tune were about late AC DC star Bon Scott.
- The song landed Ozzy in legal hot water in the 1980s when the parents of a young fan claimed Suicide Solution had inspired their child to commit suicide. They sued the rocker but the case was dismissed. Ozzy was sued a second time when another fan committed suicide. He was cleared again.
- Ozzy has five kids - Kelly, Jack, Aimee, Jessica and Louis. He also adopted his first wife's son Eliot. He's a grandfather to his firstborn Jessica's daughter Isabelle.
- After he was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, he formed Law and the Blizzard of Oz.
- He was arrested in September 1989 after attempting to strangle his wife Sharon while drunk. He awoke in jail oblivious as to why he was there.
- His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled in April, 2002.
- Ozzy famously bit the head off a live bat during a 1982 concert in Des Moines, Iowa, thinking it was a toy a fan had thrown onstage. The incident led to a series of painful rabies shots and a hefty donation to an animal rights group, which was appalled by the bat biting blunder.
- He's a vegetarian.
- Born in Aston, Birmingham, Ozzy is a fan of the local soccer team, Aston Villa.
- He had a vasectomy in 1986.
- He has sold more than 90 million albums.
- After leaving school he had jobs as a labourer on a building site, a trainee plumber, an apprentice toolmaker - and he even worked in a slaughterhouse.
- Ozzy has had several cosmetic surgery procedures, including a facelift and nose job.
- He wears Czech + Speake No. 88 cologne.
- He makes smoothies every morning for breakfast.
- In 1999, an action figure doll of Ozzy hit stores - it came complete with mini decapitated bats.
- His popular TV programme The Osbournes scooped an Emmy for Best Reality TV Show in 2002.
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