His first studio album of the new millennium, Down To Earth, was released in 2001. He became a household figure the following year when his dysfunctional family life was featured on the MTV reality TV show, The Osbournes. This endearing 10-part series garnered some of the channel’s highest viewing figures.
The late 80s were a trying time for Osbourne. He went on trial in America for allegedly using his lyrics to incite youngsters to commit suicide; he was eventually cleared of these charges.
In 2001 the reality television show The Osbournes, which focused on the life of Osbourne and his family, premiered on MTV, and within two months it had become the third highest-rated offering on cable television.
Ozzfest, an annual summer music festival featuring heavy metal acts organized by Osbourne and his wife, began in 1996 and toured throughout the United States and, in some years, parts of Europe. By the end of the 1990s, Osbourne had reunited the original members of Black Sabbath for a new album and tour, and in 1999 the band won a Grammy for best metal performance for the song “Iron Man.”
Osbourne left the group in 1978, at the height of Black Sabbath's popularity, to pursue a solo career. Unlike many headlining artists who leave the groups that made them famous only to disappear into obscurity, Osbourne's solo debut, Blizzard of Ozz (1980), was a resounding commercial success.
Born to a solidly working class family, Osbourne left school at an early age. He worked at a series of menial jobs until his experiments with petty crime landed him in jail.
As the lead singer for Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne helped take the band’s grinding blues and turn it into something louder and more sinister. Along the way he was accused of biting the heads off of small animals and birds, driving young men to suicide, and consorting with Satan.
He advocated the notion that a modern rock hero should be a troubled, alienated outcast. Of all of his contemporaries, his rebellion against church, family, and convention seems most extreme and genuine. He was one of the most despised, censored, and idolized musical figures of the 1980s.
With his rebellious image as a dangerously extreme rock musician, Ozzy Osbourne became, in the 1980s, one of the foremost creators of the heavy metal genre and one of the era's most outrageous performers. He first came to prominence as the lead vocalist for the British hard-rock group Black Sabbath from 1969 to 1978.
At a Des Moines, Iowa, show, someone tossed onto the stage a live bat. Thinking it was a toy, Osbourne picked it up and bit the head off, before realizing that it was a living thing. Beyond freaking himself and the audience out, Osbourne needed a series of rabies shots over the next week...