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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 December, 2003, 10:01 GMT
Highs and lows of superstar Ozzy
Ozzy Osbourne
Osbourne is the son of a former West Midlands factory worker
Rock star Ozzy Osbourne has been seriously injured in a quad bike accident. BBC News Online looks at the life of the singer and MTV reality show star.

The accident is the latest unhappy episode in what has been a turbulent couple of years for the singer.

In July 2002 his wife, Sharon, was diagnosed with colon cancer, and Osbourne admitted he "fell apart" during her battle for health. She later made a full recovery.

In February this year the couple's son, Jack, went into rehab after admitting a drug problem.

Sharon Osbourne later said she had left the singer for a time because of his use of alcohol and prescription drugs as he tried to come to terms with his son's problems.

Ozzy Osbourne
He told recently of being abused as a child growing up in the UK
The singer revealed that the drugs had left him unable to walk or talk properly. He also told an interviewer he had been sexually abused as a child growing up in Birmingham.

The family's private sagas have been played out in the full glare of the public eye following the huge popularity of the TV series chronicling their dysfunctional family life at home in Beverly Hills.

Despite their trials, it has also been a period of momentous success for Osbourne and his family, who have been feted by world leaders and A-list celebrities.

In April 2002 he was given his own Walk of Fame star in Hollywood. A month later he was having dinner at the White House as a guest of President Bush.

He was further honoured by being asked to play at the Queen's Jubilee pop concert at Buckingham Palace in June 2002.

As the of success of his MTV show grew, he signed a $2m (1.14m) book deal. His family's fortune was put earlier this year at 40m (23m).

Ozzy Osbourne with daughter Kelly
His family's life at home in LA has enthralled millions of TV viewers
It has been an incredible journey for the 55-year-old dyslexic son of a West Midlands factory worker who had a juvenile conviction for burglary.

He channelled his frustration - "I felt like a caged animal", he says - into his music.

As Black Sabbath's front-man his excesses became the stuff of legend. Shocking even his colleagues, Sabbath sacked him in 1979... then the fun really started.

Two years later he bit the head off a bat tossed to him on stage by a fan, claiming later that he thought it was a rubber toy. Not confining himself to mammals, he outraged record executives by also biting the head off a live dove during a meeting.

Other topics for his memoirs include his arrest for drunken urination on The Alamo, taking acid tabs every day for two years with Sabbath's drummer, Bill Ward, and a stoned attempt to strangle wife and manager Sharon while on tour in Moscow.

The police, their reaction unrecorded, were called. No charges were brought.

Ozzy Osbourne
Osbourne's former wildman behaviour is the stuff of rock legend

Osbourne has cleaned up his life, with rehab - including a spell at that palace of the dissolute, the Betty Ford Clinic.

Sharon, to whom he has been married for more than 20 years, has proved herself to be an astute marketer of her husband's talents.

His cod-satanic posturing, a pantomime dame counterbalancing Marilyn Manson's reptilian darkness, has brought him millions of new American fans, eager to see their icon on stage and to buy his records.

His decision to donate the merchandising profits from a US tour to the families of police and firefighters affected by the 11 September attacks brought the former bad boy huge acclaim.

MTV's The Osbournes had at its peak audience of eight million with America's TV Guide magazine describing the series as "a cross between The Simpsons and This Is Spinal Tap".

The success of the first series led to a second for which Osbourne was paid a reported 13.5m.

The rock star was at a loss to explain its popularity, and said: "I suppose Americans get a kick out of watching a crazy Brit family like us make complete fools of ourselves every week."




SEE ALSO:
Osbourne struggled with burglar
23 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Ozzy's wife tops rock power list
21 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
Osbourne hurt in quad bike smash
09 Dec 03 |  Entertainment
Kelly Osbourne talks of drug hell
24 May 04 |  Entertainment
Osbourne speaks of being abused
01 Dec 03 |  Entertainment
Sharon Osbourne 'left Ozzy'
11 Sep 03 |  Entertainment


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