The bat-biting, bird-beheading bad boy of heavy metal became the bumbling, mumbling man of the house on the reality-TV series “The Osbournes,” but through all his ups and downs, Ozzy Osbourne has rarely failed to be an oddly endearing presence.
With the Birmingham, England quartet Black Sabbath in the late ’60s, the singer introduced many of the basics of metal, including the aggressive vocal wail, themes of occultism and alienation, and the spirit of menacing rebelliousness.
Sabbath was embraced by a massive audience of discontented youth and became one of the biggest selling bands of the ’70s. Its legend was enhanced by Ozzy’s famed antics, including biting the head off a dead bat on stage, and off a live dove at a record company meeting.
His solo career has been less consistent but saw plenty of successes, including the annual Ozzfest touring festival he founded, and the MTV reality series focusing on his family. Black Sabbath, which has reunited periodically from 1997 on, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.