It’s been quite a year for legendary Brummie rocker Ozzy Osbourne. On the plus side there was a successful Black Sabbath tour culminating in a hometown Christmas gig, a reunion album that raced to No. 1 in more than 50 countries and an impending wedding.
On the minus side there was a brief return to Ozzy’s drink and drugs demons and rumours of a marriage break-up.
But that seems to be behind him now – and there’s even been a campaign to secure a knighthood for the 64 year old rocker, launched by a passionate Australian Black Sabbath fan.
Three of the original members of the band – Ozzy, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler reformed for their first new album in 33 years, named 13, which achieved global success, becoming their first chart-topper since their Paranoid album 44 years ago. The album topped the charts in the UK, the USA, Canada, the Far East and Europe.
The band followed up their triumphal album with a tour that took in Australia, New Zealand and a string of arena concerts around Europe before returning to the UK to play London’s O2 Arena, Belfast, Sheffield, Manchester and finally the LG Arena.
Earlier in the year, Ozzy admitted that he had returned to drink and drugs and had been “in a dark place”, but dismissed reports that his marriage to Sharon was on the rocks – although it does sound as if she gave him a hard time.
On a happier note, his daughter Kelly got engaged to Matthew Mosshart, a chef she met at Kate Moss’s wedding in 2011.
In the meantime Black Sabbath has been named as the Most Important British Heavy Rock Act by record industry trade body the BPI.
The original line-up last reunited in 1997 to headline the Ozzfest festival, and released the live album Reunion, recorded at the NEC in 1998. The project came to an end when Ozzy resumed his solo career.
In April 2012 Ozzy became a granddad for the fifth time. His 28 year-old son Jack and his actress wife Lisa Stelly gave him grand-daughter, Pearl. It was Ozzy’s wife Sharon’s first grandchild. Jack and Lisa married in October 2012 in Hawaii, shortly after he revealed he was suffering from multiple sclerosis.
Ozzy’s company, Monowise, has a turnover of more than £4 million and is doing nicely, boosted by his touring and albums.
His phenomenal musical success is a long way from Ozzy’s childhood in Lodge Road, Aston where he was born into a poverty stricken family with six children.
Bullied at school and suffering learning difficulties, he turned his back on crime and found refuge in music.
His leap from rock star to celebrity status came in 2002 when he became the unlikely star of an MTV reality TV series The Osbournes. The series, based on the unconventional domestic life of Ozzy and his family, ran for three years and became one of MTV’s greatest hits.
He lives on a vast Buckinghamshire estate and has homes in Beverly Hills and Malibu, but Ozzy remains Brum’s favourite rocker.