Entertainer John Michael Osbourne (1948-), otherwise known as cult sensation Ozzy Osbourne, was born to a working-class family on this day in Birmingham, England.
About his earlier years of hard living, Ozzy recalled, "I lost weeks at a time. I got drunk for the first time at 14 and for the next 29 years I was hardly ever sober."
As frontman for the ground-breaking heavy metal Black Sabbath (named after a Boris Karloff film), Ozzy and the band released their first album in 1970 and headed for international fame. Along the way, the wild rocker gathered (at least) 15 tattoos and an infamous reputation, fueled by his habits of Rock and Roll excess and propensity of biting off the heads of bats and doves.
"If I had to start it all over again, the only thing I would change is I'd learn to read a contract better," said Osbourne, the self-proclaimed "prince of darkness" who with the help of wife/manager Sharon cleaned up his act. He still releases solo albums and heads the popular Ozzfest rock festivals. (Every so often, the outrageous performer still moons his audience.)
"I don't think I'll ever be 100% sober," he said. "I can't stand A.A."
In 2001, MTV launched The Osbournes, the hit reality television show featuring life with Ozzy and his dysfunctional family in their 13,000-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion.
"What is a functional family?" he asked. "I know I'm dysfunctional by a long shot, but what guidelines do we all have to go by? The Waltons?"
Trust Ozzy to make you think. The drama, his family's sagas... and popularity... continued. TV Guide magazine praised the series as "a cross between The Simpsons and This Is Spinal Tap."
"It's me and my house," explained Ozzy. "That's the way we always are."
Let your heart lead the way.