Happy 70th Birthday, Ozzy Osbourne!
It's hard to believe, but rock and roll's prince of darkness Ozzy Osbourne turns 70 on Monday (December 3rd). The father of heavy metal and Black Sabbath frontman never anticipated such longevity, figuring he'd succumb to his rock and roll excesses long before he was eligible for social security: "Let me tell you, when I was 20 I was going, I'd go, 'I'm gonna die by 40.' And that was all right until I was 39 and a half." (08: OC: . . . and a half.) Although he's threatened to retire before and says his current "No More Tours 2" trek will be his last lengthy global tour, Osbourne told us not long ago that he has no intention of calling it quits: "I don't wanna stop, you know. It's been the biggest love affair of my life. When you reach a certain age in rock 'n' roll, people think, 'Well, this has got to be his last tour,' or 'This has got to be his last tour,' or 'You've got to come next Tuesday 'cause he ain't gonna do it after that.' You'll know when I've come off the road permanently. I mean, you'll know!" John Michael Osbourne was born in the Aston district of the gritty industrial town of Birmingham, England, one of Jack and Lillian Osbourne's six kids. He dropped out of school at the age of 15, working as a laborer, plumber, toolmaker and slaughterhouse worker. He also spent a few weeks in prison after being arrested for burglary. He later formed a band with classmate and guitarist Tony Iommi. The pair decided to play a darker, blues-influenced style of music instead of the psychedelic rock that was all the rage at the time. That group, originally called Earth, became Black Sabbath. Completed by drummer Bill Ward and bassist Geezer Butler, Sabbath became hugely successful with albums like Paranoid, Master of Reality and Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath. The group arguably created the template for heavy metal and inspired generations of bands over the past 38 years. Sabbath was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Ozzy left Sabbath in 1979 and embarked on an even more successful solo career with albums like Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman and last year's Black Rain. He reunited with Sabbath in 1997 and the band toured sporadically for the next 20 years. A new album and tour featuring the original four members was announced in 2011, although drummer Bill Ward dropped out for contractual reasons. The album, 13, emerged in 2013 and Sabbath went on a farewell tour for all of 2016, ending with two shows in Birmingham in February 2017. Although Ozzy has spoken about recording new music on his own, it has been eight years since he released his 11th and most recent solo effort, 2010's Scream.
Ozzy Osbourne On Getting Older