Ozzy Osbourne: Who Is He And What Did He Do For Music?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 24, 2022

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Ozzy Osbourne is one of the most iconic figures in the history of rock music. He rose to fame as the lead singer of Black Sabbath, one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time. His solo career has been just as successful, with a number of hit singles and albums. Osbourne has also been credited with helping to popularise the heavy metal genre, making it more accessible to mainstream audiences.

Let’s take a look at Ozzy Osbourne’s incredible career and how he has influenced music:

Who is Ozzy Osbourne

Overview of Ozzy Osbourne’s career

Ozzy Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, actor and television personality who has enjoyed a long career in the music business. He rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the iconic heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. His highly influential style marked him out as one of the most successful and important frontmen in the world of rock music.

After his departure from Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy embarked on a hugely successful solo career that has seen him release 11 studio albums and become an international celebrity. Aside from his musical accomplishments, Ozzy is renowned for his wild behaviour both off and on stage – he was actually banned from San Antonio due to biting a dove’s head off during a press conference!

He achieved further fame as part of The Osbournes reality TV show that depicted daily life with Ozzy and wife Sharon and their two children Kelly and Jack. Since 2000, he has been living with Sharon and their three additional children Aimee, Kelly and Jack. He continues to tour throughout the world playing sold-out shows much to his adoring fans’ delight.

His influence on music

Ozzy Osbourne‘s influence on the music world is undeniable. He is one of heavy metal music’s most recognizable artists, and his contributions to the genre have had a lasting impact that is still being felt today. Ozzy Osbourne’s solo career began in 1979 and his technicality, charisma and showmanship quickly earned him a reputation as one of heavy metal’s greatest performers. From his groundbreaking “Bark at the Moon” tour to his collaboration with other notable musicians such as Randy Rhoads, Daemon Rollins and Zakk Wylde, Osbourne has undeniably left his mark on hard rock music.

In addition to his stage performances, Osbourne has experienced even greater success with his reality television show The Osbornes. The reality series which aired from 2002-2005 gave fans a look into Osbourne’s lifestyle and allowed for further insight into both music-making process as well as what it takes to become an international superstar. Ozzfest was also created by the icon in 1996 which brought heavy metal bands around the world together for its touring festival event annually until 2013 when it became an exclusively internet streaming event.

At age 72, Ozzy continues to find success in both releasing new material and performing live events around the world giving fans countless opportunities to appreciate not only classic favorites but new songs being released by one of rock n roll’s greatest artists of all time.

Early Life

Ozzy Osbourne is a legendary British musician widely known as the lead singer of the influential heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Ozzy’s life story has been the subject of many books, songs, and films.

His life began in 1948 in Aston, Birmingham, England. He was the eldest of six children in what he describes as a chaotic home environment. From his early years, he was determined to make a living in music.

His family background

Ozzy Osbourne was born John Michael Osbourne in Birmingham, England on December 3, 1948. He was one of six children. His father Jack worked as a factory steel worker and his mother, Lillian Danielle (née Davis), worked being a homemaker. Ozzy’s siblings include sisters Iris and Gillian, and brothers Paul (who died at 8 years old from an allergic reaction to a bee sting), Tony, who was born with a club foot and could not go on the road with Ozzy’s band; and a half-brother named David Arden Wilson.

As a child, Ozzy sometimes found himself in trouble but was nevertheless relatively intelligent academically; however, following his father’s death when he was 8 years old and the bullying he experienced for being dyslexic in school, he struggled in school. After leaving school at 15 years of age, Ozzy had various jobs including:

  • Being an apprentice tool maker with GKN Fasteners Ltd.
  • Working as a construction worker on building sites.
  • Claiming unemployment benefits at one stage to make ends meet.

His early musical influences

Ozzy Osbourne’s passion for music began during his childhood years growing up in Aston, Birmingham, England. His earliest influences included Elvis Presley and The Beatles; the latter’s success in particular fueled his desire to pursue a career in music. He started playing guitar at around 15 and quickly fell in love with hard rock bands, including Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. He took inspiration from their riffs and stylings, later infusing them into his own music. Though he initially worked in factory jobs during the day, Osbourne eventually joined local bands to gain experience as a rock musician.

In 1968 he formed the English band “Mythology” which dissolved shortly after its first major performance in 1969. After this setback, Ozzy decided to focus on starting a solo career and penned down some of his most popular early songs like “You Better Run” and “I Don’t Know” soon after. These songs contributed towards Osbourne’s first taste of success as a solo artist before joining Black Sabbath in 1970 to ultimately launch one of the most influential careers in rock history.


Ozzy Osbourne has had a long and storied career in the music industry. He is best known as the frontman for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, but he has also had a successful solo career that has spanned over five decades. In addition, Osbourne has contributed to the creation of a number of genres of heavy metal music and influenced countless bands and artists throughout the world.

Let’s explore Ozzy Osbourne’s career in more detail:

His time with Black Sabbath

During the late 1960s in Birmingham, England, four ambitious young men – Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums) – came together to form the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. After signing a deal in 1969 with Philips Records, they released their self-titled album in 1970; with its dark themes, it reshaped and revitalized the growing genre of heavy metal music.

Throughout his early years as an artist and singer, Ozzy was already creating his own style and brand of shock rock. His on stage theatrics included biting the heads off bats, throwing raw meat into the crowd, announcing acts while wearing all black attire with a shaved head and swearing on TV – all of which quickly earned him success as one of the most recognizable people in rock music.

While recording with Black Sabbath, Ozzy wrote many songs that were considered classic heavy metal staples, such as “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” “Paranoid” and “Children Of The Grave”. He also sang on several hit singles including “Changes,” which is featured prominently on the classic heavy metal film The Decline Of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years. During this time he toured heavily with Black Sabbath around Europe and launched successful solo albums such as Blizzard Of Oz, Diary Of A Madman and No More Tears.

In 1979 Ozzy left Black Sabbath to pursue a successful solo career; however he still collaborated occasionally with other members from Black Sabbath for funerals or special anniversary shows – though only for short periods of time between 1979 and 2012. As he progressed through his solo work over 38+ albums during his lifetime he has become known across cultures worldwide among a wide range of audiences. Today Ozzy is now seen as an influential influencer who has helped shape almost entire genres of musician and music over multiple decades & generations.

His solo career

Ozzy Osbourne has had a unique, award-winning music career that spans five decades. After being kicked out of Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy embarked on his own solo career. His album Blizzard of Ozz was released in 1980 and its hit single “Crazy Train” quickly made him a household name. Over the last 40 years, he has become one of the most successful and iconic stars in metal music history.

Ozzy’s wild stage presence and guttural vocal style have been mimic’d by countless other vocalists for decades. He has released 12 solo studio albums, 4 live albums, 5 compilation albums, and 4 EPs since his debut in 1980. Over this span of time he has produced numerous Billboard hits including “No More Tears”, “Mr. Crowley” and “Bark at the Moon” just to name a few. He is well known for his frenzied mannerisms on stage which consists of spinning around like a top with one arm stretched out while singing into his microphone at full volume! His live performances ooze enthusiasm and often times culminate with the traditional “devil horns” hand gesture seen at rock concerts worldwide today!

For numerous fans around the world, Ozzy Osbourne serves as an icon in modern metal music culture whose influence continues to reverberate throughout society even into 2021 as he continues to push boundaries with no signs of slowing down anytime soon!


Ozzy Osbourne is widely considered one of the most influential figures in hard rock and metal music. His impact on the music industry is undeniable, having changed the genre in countless ways. From his electrifying stage presence to his genre-defying work with bands like Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne has made an enormous impact on modern music.

Let’s take a closer look at the impact Ozzy had on music:

His influence on metal music

Ozzy Osbourne is undeniably one of the most influential people in the world of heavy metal music. He rose to notoriety as the frontman of English heavy metal band Black Sabbath during the 1970s and is often credited with spearheading the rise of heavy metal music. Osbourne’s turbulent personal life has also added to his legendary status.

Osbourne spearheaded a shift away from traditional rock and roll and toward a new sound that mixes hard-driving beats, aggressive electric guitar riffs, and dark themes that appeal to a younger generation. Black Sabbath’s groundbreaking releases such as their self-titled debut album (1970) and Paranoid (1971) laid the groundwork for metal bands that followed.

In more recent years, Osbourne’s influence has extended to countless other genres such as thrash metal, death metal, alternative metal, symphonic black metal, nu-metal and even pop/rock as it incorporates some of his writings and styles when creating their own sound. With his trademark crooning voice and genre-defying music style, Ozzy Osbourne helped define an era in hard rock that has gone on to shape modern music drastically ever since.

His influence on other genres

Ozzy Osbourne’s career and music influenced many aspiring artists and helped bridge the divide between several different genres of music. Throughout his career, Ozzy had a special flair for connecting metalcore, heavy metal, hard rock and glam metal together, even helping create the sub-genre known as glam metal.

Ozzy encouraged songs with stronger melodies that included keyboards or acoustic guitars while encouraging a harder playing style within metal guitar playing. His influence disrupted the reigned stereotype associated to heavy metal at the time as well.

Ozzy’s influence can be seen in all types of music from punk rock to rap, pop to niche genres. He helped develop a whole school of musicians after him such as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Mötley Crüe among others who used his signature sweet vocal delivery method combined with power chords and aggressive rhythms more so than any other genre at the time. The sounds he created started a massive crossover between traditional human headbanging and blistering feedback solos which have subdued fans for years upon years since his first albums breaking into the mainstream media in 1979-1980s.

All together, Ozzy is widely regarded as one of the most influential voices in hard rock/heavy metal history.


Ozzy Osbourne is widely considered one of the most influential and celebrated rock icons of all time. He helped define the genre of heavy metal and shaped its sound for generations to come. His live performances and studio albums have left an indelible mark on the music industry. But what is his legacy and what has he done specifically for the music industry? Let’s explore.

His impact on the music industry

Ozzy Osbourne has had a lasting impact on the music industry throughout the years, and continues to be an influential European force in heavy metal and rock music. As frontman of the band Black Sabbath, and as a successful solo artist, Ozzy is known for popularizing a darker sound and style in rock music by blending hard rock, heavy metal and other genres. His unique sound has transcended generations, inspiring legions of fans who still honor his legacy today.

As one of the founders of heavy metal and a cultural icon for over four decades, Ozzy’s influence on popular music has been undeniable. During his career with Black Sabbath he wrote or co-wrote some of their biggest hits such as “Paranoid” (1970) “Iron Man” (1971) “War Pigs” (1970) and “Crazy Train” (1981). His creative approach to songwriting broke preconceived notions about lyrical conventions; he managed to make dark and violent subject matters come alive through his emotionally-charged lyrics in songs like “Suicide Solution” (1980), which was controversial due to its alleged promotion of suicide as a viable solution to life’s problems.

As both a gifted singer/songwriter/musician who pushed genre boundaries with his unpredictable ear for new sounds, and an energetic performer with contagious energy on stage that audiences responded to positively from day one; Ozzy established himself as one ruthless rock star worth keeping an eye on. He became known for his crowd pleasing showmanship during live performances, incorporating theatrical elements into the shows such as upside down crucifixions, throwing raw meat into crowds at concerts or holiday festivals. The media took interest in Ozzy as well; he famously bit off a live bat’s head on stage during concert back in 1982 – a wild stunt that immediately captures attention from around the world. This stunt may seem unequivocally shocking even today but it nonetheless earned him notoriety for taking risks that left audiences screaming for more.

Ozzy’s musical legacy is clear: he pioneered new artistic ground by fusing speed-metal guitars with powerful vocals while captivating millions through easily identifiable emotions in each song which lent themselves to infectious choruses written around personal themes later explored in depth by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain among others. Ultimately it is safe to say that Ozzy Osborne will continue leave lingering influence on many more generations due this strong presence within heavy metal/rock scenes since late 1960s with no sign of exhaustion any time soon!

His influence on future generations

Ozzy Osbourne’s influence on future generations of musicians is tremendous. He brought a unique and raw approach to heavy metal music, with his unrelenting vocals and infectious riffs. Spanning five decades of rock music, Osbourne’s career consists of eight albums with Black Sabbath, eleven solo albums, and several collaborations with other iconic figures such as Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads and Zakk Wylde.

Osbourne stands out as an influential musician for both young stars in the modern era of heavy metal, such as Slipknot’s Corey Taylor or Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows; but also for artists from more traditional rock bands such as Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and MSG’s Michael Schenker. Young members from bands like Slayer or Anthrax cite Ozzy Osbourne as a crucial influence to their development in their formative years’.

Today, Ozzy still serves as an inspirational figure due to his longevity within the rock world despite his long struggle against substance abuse at times during his career. To younger generations he stands out due to his unique blend of hard-rocking attitude combined with a sense of humor which has earned him legions of fans across multiple times periods in the history of popular music thanks to his vast contributions on the stage over the past 40+ years – truly showcasing himself as one of most important musicians from England ever.

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

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