Born on this day in 1948: Ozzy Osbourne
The “Godfather of Heavy Metal,” Ozzy was the lead singer of Black Sabbath in the 1970s. As one of the founding members of the band, they went through several name changes feore settling on Black Sabbath, named for the Mario Bava film of the same name. The band’s first song in a “darker vein,” “Black Sabbath,” was based on Geezer Butler’s experience seeing a “dark figure at the end of his bed” after reading a book on the occult.
Ozzy was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979 due to excessive problems with drugs and alcohol, though he did reunite with them in recent years. He went on to a successful solo career, despite years of addiction that finally culminated in him attempting to strangle his wife, Sharon, in a drugged haze. During this time, he bit the head off a live dove during a meeting with record executives. A year later, he bit the head off a bat during a performance in Iowa. There seems to be some confusion as to whether the bat was actually alive or dead, but Ozzy claims it was real, it bit him back, and he had to be treated for rabies. In 1996, he launched OzzFest, a massive heavy metal festival that also reunited Black Sabbath.
In all, Ozzy recorded nine albums with Black Sabbath, and twelve as a solo artist. He was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, and the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Black Sabbath in 2006. He was also the first inductee into the Birmingham Walk of Stars.