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7 Facts About 'Godfather Of Heavy Metal' Ozzy Osbourne Your Parents Should Have Told You By Now

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Who Is Ozzy Osbourne? Black Sabbath, Songs, Post Malone Track, Children, Tours & More Explained

One would think having earned a title like "Godfather of Heavy Metal" would mean no one needs to ask a question like, "Who is Ozzy Osbourne?"

And yet, here we are.

Austin Richard Post, far better known as American rapper, singer, songwriter, producer and — yes, it's true — French vineyard owner Post Malone, just dropped his third and latest album Hollywood's Bleeding. And as highly anticipated as it was, few could have expected the most outstanding performance among those given by Malone's tremendous list of guest artists would be sung the Prince of Darkness himself.

And damn, son. Ozzy brought it.

The English singer, songwriter, actor and reality television star who first rose to fame as lead vocalist for Black Sabbath joins Travis Scott on the track "Take What You Want" — and frankly, as much as we loooove Post, Osbourne steals the show.

RELATED: 20 Best Post Malone Music Videos & Song Lyrics From His New Album, 'Hollywood's Bleeding'

Because time is cruel, however, anyone belonging to generations younger than Millennials (looking at you Gen Z and below) may not have a prior appreciation of Ozzy, or even know who he is at all.

To catch you up, because honestly, your parents should have raised you better, here are key 7 facts to know about legendary rock star Ozzy Osbourne.

1. He had it rough as a kid

The 70-year old legend was born John Michael "Ozzy" Osbournee on December 3, 1948, in Aston, Birmingham. the fourth of eight children of working class parents Lilian (née Unitt) and John Thomas "Jack" Osbourne.

In a 2003 interview, Osbourne revealed that not only did he struggle with dyslexia and ADD, but he endured repeated sexual abuse at the hands of school bullies beginning at the age of just 11.

"It was terrible," he recalled. "The first time it happened was in front of my sister and that affected me even more. It became a regular thing on the way home from school. It seemed to go on forever ... I was afraid to tell my father or mother and it completely f—ed me up. Dirty little secrets fester and that is one of the first things I said to my kids ... When I was a kid, people did not talk about these things like they do now."

"I worked it out with a therapist," he continued, "But if you have a traumatic experience when you are young it does f— you up. Sharon knows all about it and it was only with her that I could finally relax and be myself.”

2. From the age of 14, he knew he was destined for rock greatness

In the 2011 documentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, he recalls how the Beatles 1963 single "She Loves You" first inspired him to become a musician.

"I knew I was going to be a rock star the rest of my life," he said.

After leaving school at the age of 15, Osbourne worked as a construction site laborer, trainee plumber, apprentice toolmaker, car factory horn-tuner, and abattoir worker before finding his place in what was destined to become his legendary rock band.

After stumbling through rocky beginnings in a band variously called such unfortunate names as Rare Breed, Polka Tulk Blues, and Earth, in 1969, he and bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and drummer Ward decided at last to call themselves Black Sabbath, based on the 1963 Boris Karloff film of the same name.

In a 2002 interview with NYRock, Osbourne explained, "Right across the road from our rehearsal room was a cinema that showed mainly horror movies. One day I thought that it seemed strange that a lot of people spend so much money to see scary movies. Nobody really wanted to listen to us, so we decided to play slightly scary music. We liked it and, yeah, that's how it all got started. That's the story of Black Sabbath."


The decision served him well, as Osbourne's net worth is currently approximated at $220 million.

In the nearly 50 years between Black Sabbath's formation and their official break up in March 2017, they recorded 19 studio albums, six live albums, 12 compilation albums, seven video albums, one extended play and 30 singles.

Their most famous songs arguably include the following:

  • "War Pigs"
  • "Paranoid"
  • "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath"
  • "Iron Man"
  • "N.I.B."
  • "Children of the Grave"
  • "The Wizard"
  • "Black Sabbath"

RELATED: The Deeply Troubling Reason Ozzy Lied About Being A Sex Addict

3, He has done some ... bizarre ... things

You don't earn nicknames like the aforementioned "Godfather of Heavy Metal" and "The Prince of Darkness" by staying on your best behavior.

As explained in detail on Spinditty, the following are just a few of the things Ozzy has done to earn public adoration and horror over the past half century:

Bit the head off a live bat: "During one performance, somebody in the audience threw something at Ozzy. He thought it was a rubber bat, so he picked it up and chomped down on it. Soon, realizing something was wrong, Ozzy spit out a live bat. Later, as a precautionary measure, Ozzy had to get rabies shots."

Bit the head off a live dove: "During a meeting at CBS records, Ozzy, now a solo artist, in order to intimidate the public relations people, pulled out a dove, bit off its head and threw it on a table, where it twitched about, spilling blood and feces everywhere. Soon, somebody shouted, 'Get this animal out of here! Now!' Then they threw Ozzy from the premises."

Set chickens on fire: Osbourne's first wife Thelma Riley, "in an effort to keep Ozzy from partying all the time, bought him a coop filled with chickens. But Ozzy hated the chickens and hated feeding them. One night, while drunk, he took his shotgun to the coop and began shooting the birds. Then he set fire to the coop and into the flames he threw live shotgun cartridges, and they soon went bang-bang-bang!"

Urinated on the Alamo: "While touring in San Antonio, Texas, Ozzy got drunk one night, and Sharon Arden (later to become his wife), took Ozzy’s clothes, hoping to keep him at the hotel and out of trouble. But Ozzy donned one of Sharon’s frilly frocks and took a walk. Later, while still dressed in drag, he took a leak on the walls of the Alamo, a historic national monument, where the cops soon busted him. It was a decade before the authorities allowed Ozzy to play in San Antonio again."

And ... as detailed in the 2001 Motley Crüe biography turned 2019 Netflix biopic The Dirt, Osbourne — sigh — snorted ants and drank his own urine.

As retold in Vanity Fair:

"Osbourne asked the Crüe members for a bump of coke. When Sixx said they didn’t have any, Osbourne asked for a straw anyway. Here’s what happened next, per the book:

"I handed him the straw, and he walked over to a crack in the sidewalk and bent over it. I saw a long column of ants, marching to a little sand dugout where the pavement met the dirt. And as I thought, 'No, he wouldn’t,' he did. He put the straw to his nose and, with his bare white a— peeking out from under the dress like sliced honeydew, sent the entire line of ants tickling up his nose with a single, monstrous snort.

"He stood up, reared back his head, and concluded with a powerful rightnostriled sniff that probably sent a stray ant or two dripping down his throat. Then he hiked up the sundress, grabbed his d—, and pissed on the pavement. Without even looking at his growing audience — everyone on the tour was watching him while the old women and families on the pool deck were pretending not to — he knelt down and, getting the dress soggy in the puddle, lapped it up. He didn’t just flick it with his tongue, he took a half-dozen long, lingering, and thorough strokes, like a cat. Then he stood up and, eyes blazing and mouth wet with urine, looked straight at me. 'Do that, Sixx!'"

If you think this all makes him sound like a fairly terrible person, it's OK. He probably agrees with you.

After all. when asked how he feels about being dubbed the Prince of Darkness, Osbourne replied, "I'm OK with it, you know? You know, it's better than being called an a—hole."

Bonus fun fact: While the combination of his wild antics, difficult to understand speech and, um, unique personality have led many to believe he was the inspiration behind the fictional band Spinal Tap from Rob Reiner's classic 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Osbourne was among those who, at first, believed the band was real.

"When he learned the truth," however, "he admitted that he should have known better. 'They seemed quite tame compared to what we got up to,' he once said."

4. He gained a whole new level of super stardom as a reality show patriarch

Decades into his ground breaking heavy metal ride both with Black Sabbath and as a solo artist, Osbourne again broke the mold as the (sort of) head of household in The Osbournes from 2002-2005. The first of the series four seasons is said to be "the most-viewed series ever on MTV."

The show focused on the lives of Ozzy and Sharon, his second wife and long-time manager, as well as on Kelly and Jack, two of the couple's three children. Their oldest child, daughter Aimee, refused to be involved and publicly criticized the show.

In addition to the three children he shares with Sharon, Osbourne is also father to Jessica and Louis, from his first marriage to Thelma Riley, and adopted father to her son Elliot.

Bonus fun fact: His 1980 hit solo record "Crazy Train" was the shows theme song.

5. He is currently on tour — kind of

Part way through the North American portion of his No More Tours 2 Tour, Osbourne was struck by an infection in his right hand, requiring surgery and the cancellation of all further shows for 2019. That said, the tour will go on.

The injury, a Tweet from his official Twitter account explained, was sustained "while dealing with pneumonia. Ozzy fell at his Los Angeles home aggravating years-old injuries (from his 2003 ATV accident) that required surgery."

Osbourne released a statement in which said, "“The tour had been going great and we were really looking forward to these last few gigs. We’re hoping everyone will be patient and we’ll look forward to seeing them at the shows next year.”

He's been careful, however to make sure his fans no he has no plans to retire.

“It’s ‘No More Tours,’", he told Rolling Stone, "so I’m just not doing world tours anymore ... I’m still going to be doing gigs, but I’m not going on tour for six months at a time anymore.”

RELATED: Ozzy’s Confession Proves 'Sex Addiction' Is Just An Excuse To Cheat

6. He's been through a brutal battle with addiction

While it would appear he's currently sober, Osbourne has long struggle with alcholol and drug abuse.

Famously, after learning of what appears to have been his most recent relapse in 2013, Sharon, to whom he's been married since 1982, "arranged to get rid of Ozzy’s $800,000 car collection. She sold the Audi and one Ferrari he kept in the US. The other Ferrari she gave to their son, Jack."

7. Recording with Post Malone is his "favorite thing" since Black Sabbath

Speaking with Zane Lowe of Beats 1, Malone, 24, revealed how his new track with Osbourne came to be.

"So Ozzy went over to Watt's house ... and said, 'Hey, you know what? Ozzy Osbourne's coming down and we're gonna cut a track. I'll FaceTime you and you let me know what's going on." So we talked and it was like a big deal. Ozzy. Ozzy Osbourne."

"I think he crushed it," Malone raved. "I mean, he was talking to Watt and Watt was telling me [Ozzy] was like, 'This is my favorite thing I've done since, you know, Sabbath and since I started my own, you know, own way. And like, that's huge. I'm honored. Thank you very much."

RELATED: A Complete List Of (Pretty Much) Every Tattoo On Post Malone's Face & Body

Deputy Editor Arianna Jeret, MA/MSW, has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Style, MSN, Fox News, Bustle, Parents and more. Find her on Twitter and Instagram for more.