Biographic by Steve McGarry for July 09, 2006
Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest, has become an annual tour de force of heavy metal, first staged in 1996, the yearly trek through North America- and, on occasion, central Europe- has showcased the likes of Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Ozzy's origianl band, Black Sabbath. Ozzy Osbourne was born John Michael Osbourne in Birmingham, England, on December 3, 1998. He formed blues band Polka Tulk with Tony Iommi, "Geezler" Butler and Bill Ward in 1967, changing the name to Earth, the band toured extensively breaking the record set by The Beatles at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. In 1970, now known as Black Sabbath and spearheading the emerging heavy metal movement, the band began to enjoy the start of the transatlantic chart success that saw them become one of the biggest acts of the decade. But by 1979, Musical differences, management upheavals and his increasingly wild and erratic behavior led to Ozzy's departure from the ranks of Black Sabbath. His subsequent solo career, masterminded by second wife, Sharon, has been a triumphant success, albeit one dogged by disaster and drama. He has endured the accidential death of Blizzard of Ozz guitarist Randy Rhoads, fought lawsuits from the parents who blamed his music for teen suicides, battled the law and his personal demons... and became the undisputed prince of heavy metal. His annual Ozzfest Tour is the highest of the hard rock calendar. A legend in the world of rock, he became a household name worldwide thanks to the documentary TV series "The Osbournes" first aired in 2002, the show established the Osbourne clan as the most dysfunctional yet loving family in rock, and made superstars of Ozzy and Sharon, and kids Kelly and Jack in the process. It also became the highest-rated program in the history of MTV.