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Ozzy Osbourne

On 03/12/1948: Ozzy Osbourne was born in Aston, Birmingham, England. His full birth name was John Michael Osbourne. He was given his nickname of Ozzy in primary school. When he was 14 he heard his first song by the Beatles. The band's 1963 song "She Loves You" inspired him to become a musician. Osbourne left school at 15 and took a number of jobs including construction site labourer, trainee plumber, apprentice toolmaker, car factory horn-tuner, and abattoir worker. Osbourne attempted a burglary. He tried to steal a tv, that fell on him during his getaway, along with baby clothes which he thought was adult clothes in the dark and some t-shirts. He spent six weeks in Winson Green Prison after his father refused to pay the fine to teach him a lesson.
In 1967, he joined Geezer Butler in the band Rare Breed as their vocalist. The band would only play two shows before breaking up. Butler and Osbourne were reunited though in the band Polka Tulk Blues along with guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Bill Ward. They soon renamed themselves Earth. However, after they were accidently booked for a show when they were confused for a band with the same name they decided to change their name again. In August 1969, they renamed themselves Black Sabbath based on the film of the same name. They had noticed that people enjoyed being frightened and they chose their name and new heavy blues style to fit. Butler and Osbourne wrote their first song in a darker vein, "Black Sabbath" about an experience Butler had of a dark figure appearing at the end of his bed.
Sabbath signed with Warner Bros. Records and despite only a modest investment, the band had quick success.
In 1970, their debut album "Black Sabbath" sold big numbers and they received a lot of airplay. The band recruited Don Arden as their manager following the album. Also in 1970, they released their second album "Paranoid" which also sold well.
In 1971, Black Sabbath released the album "Master of Reality". The album reached the top ten in the US and the UK.
In 1972, they released the album "Volume 4". Also in 1971, Osbourne married his first wife Thelma. They had two children. Osbourne's problems with drug and alcohol abuse and frequent touring caused a great strain on family life, which led to their break up.
In 1973, Black Sabbath released the album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath". It received considerably more favourable reviews than their previous albums.
In 1975, the band released the album "Sabotage".
In 1978, Osbourne left the band for three months to pursue a solo project called "Blizzard of Ozz". The name had been suggested by his father. Three members of the band Necromandus backed up Osbourne as part of his solo band. Necromandus had supported Black Sabbath when they were still called Earth. Osbourne soon rejoined Sabbath at the request of the other members. Black Sabbath soon released the album "Never Say Die". They went on tour to support the album with Van Halen opening for them. In December, Osbourne played his final show with the band (before the later reunions).
On 27/04/1979, Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath. The reasons given to him were his drug and alcohol use. Osbourne and Iommi had also frequently clashed.
Osbourne signed to Don Arden's Jet Records. Arden sent his daughter Sharon to look after him. Don was hopeful Osbourne would rejoin Black Sabbath. Instead, Sharon attempted to convince Osbourne to form a supergroup with Gary Moore. In late 1979, Osbourne formed The Blizzard of Oz with drummer Lee Kerslake, bassist/lyricist Bob Daisley, keyboardist Don Airey, and guitarist Randy Rhoads.
In 1980, Osbourne's first solo album "Blizzard of Oz" was released. The record company credited it under Osbourne's name rather than the original Blizzard of Oz band name. The album sold well.
In 1981, Osbourne released the album "Diary of a Madman". Tommy Aldrige and Rudy Sarzo soon replaced Kerslake and Daisley in the band. Aldrige had been Ozzy's original choice in drummer but had been unavailable due to working with Gary Moore.
On 19/03/1982, Rhoads was killed in a plane crash after the light aircraft pilot had misjudged prank of performing a low pass over the band's tour bus and clipped it, causing the plane to crash into a garage. Osbourne was deeply affected at experiencing the firsthand death of his close friend and went into a deep depression. The tour was cancelled for two weeks.
Gary Moore was approached to replace Rhoads, but he refused. Bernie Tormé replaced Rhoads for the resumption of the tour but lasted less than a month. Osbourne selected Brad Gillis to finish the tour after auditioning him in a hotel room. The tour was recorded and released as a live album "Speak of the Devil". A live tribute album to Rhoads was also released.
In July 1982, Osbourne married Sharon Arden. They have three children together. Also in 1982, Osbourne appeared on the Was (not Was) track "Shake Your Head (Let's Go to Bed".
In 1983, Jake E. Lee was recruited as Osbourne's new guitarist. Later that year, the album "Bark at the Moon" was released.
In 1986, the album "The Ultimate Sin" was released, with drummer Phil Soussan and drummer Randy Castillo. Keyboardist John Sinclair joined for the tour. The album was Osbourne's highest charting studio album.
In 1987, Jake E. Lee left the band. Osbourne commemorated the fifth anniversary of Rhoad's death with the album "Tribute" with live recordings from 1981.
In 1988, Osbourne appeared in the documentary "The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years". Also in 1988, Osbourne recruited the guitarist Zakk Wylde. They released the album "No Rest for the Wicked" with Castillo on drums, Sinclair on keyboards and Daisley on bass and co-writing lyrics. On the tour that followed Geezer Butler joined on bass. Butler would tour with Osbourne on his next four tours. Still in 1988, Osbourne recorded the song "Close My Eyes Forever" as a duet with Lita Ford.
In 1989, Osbourne performed at the Moscow Music Peace Festival.
In 1991, Osbourne released the album "No More Tears".
In 1993, Osbourne released the live album "Live and Loud". He received a Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the track "I Don't Want to Change the World". The album went platinum four times over. Osbourne announced his retirement tour, which had Mike Inez on bass and Kevin Jones on keyboards.
In 1995, Osbourne came out of retirement and released the album "Ozzmosis" and returned to touring. The tour was called "The Retirement Sucks Tour". The album featured Wylde, Butler, drummer Deen Castronovo and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. On tour were Butler, Castronovo, Sinclair and guitarist Joe Holmes. Wylde was considering Guns N' Roses and Osbourne wasn't able to wait for him to make a decision.
In 1996, Butler and Castronovo left. Mike Inez and Randy Castillo filled in. Then Mike Bordin and Robert Trujillo were brought in as full-time replacements. Also in 1996, the first Ozzfest concert was held. It was managed by Sharon Osbourne and son Jack Osbourne. The concert was a great success and has become a regular event, helping many up and coming groups.
In 1997, Black Sabbath reformed with Ozzy for the Ozzfest tour.
In 2001, Osbourne released the album "Down to Earth".
In 2002, Osbourne and Tony Iommi performed "Paranoid" at the Party at the Palace concert in Buckingham Palace for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Also that year, the Osbournes starred in a reality show called "The Osbournes". The show would continue till 2005.
In 2003, Osbourne recruited Jason Newsted who had left Metallica. Osbourne's current bassist Trujillo joined Metallica's lineup. In December, Osbourne was involved in an accident when he crashed his all-terrain vehicle on his Buckinghamshire estate. He had to be resuscitated by his bodyguard Sam Rushton and had an operation to lift his collarbone. Whilst in the hospital, his duet "Changes" with his daughter Kelly reached number 1 in the UK.
In 2004, Osbourne had recovered from his injuries and performed at Ozzfest in the reunited Black Sabbath.
In 2005, Ozzy and Sharon ran an MTV competition show called "Battle for Ozzfest" where unsigned bands competed to get a spot at Ozzfest and a possible recording contract. Also in 2005, Osbourne was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame as a solo artist and as a member of Black Sabbath.
In 2006, Osbourne was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other original Black Sabbath band mates.
In 2007, Osbourne released the album "Black Rain". Also in 2007, Osbourne was honoured at the VH1 Rock Honors. He was also that year honoured by a bronze star on Broad Street in Birmingham.
In 2008, Osbourne received a Living Legend award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honor.
In 2009, Osbourne announced that he was looking for a new guitar player, as he felt that the sound with Wylde was beginning to sound too much like Wylde's band Black Label Society. In August, Osbourne performed at gaming festival BlizzCon with guitarist Gus G. Osbourne would appear that year in a video game when he appeared in the game "Brütal Legend". In November, Osbourne appeared on Slash's track "Crucify The Dead".
In 2010, Osbourne released the album "Scream". Also that year, Osbourne received the "Literary Achievement" honour for his memoir "I Am Ozzy" at the Guys Choice Awards.
In 2011, it was announced that Osbourne, Iommi, Butler and Ward would reunite for a world tour and album. Ward dropped out for contractual reasons and was replaced by drummer Brad Wilk.
In 2012, Black Sabbath played their first concert with the reunited lineup at the O2 Academy, Birmingham.
In 2013, Black Sabbath released the album "13", produced by Rick Rubin. It went to number 1 in the UK and the US. The band then went on a farewell tour called "The End".

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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