The last couple of decades have possibly witnessed some of the weirdest combo ever birthed by the showbiz and Ozzy Osbourne is likely the only one who could ever pull it off: being a beloved rock icon still tightly holding onto the “Prince of Darkness” crown at the same time as being a popular… pop icon?
Here’s the deal, everything that becomes mainstream, becomes pop at one point – and Ozzy had long been mainstream by the 2000s. In June of 2002, he was even invited to participate in the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – and yes, he sang Paranoid at the Buckingham Palace. Who’d have thought something like that would happen back in the 70’s when Black Sabbath was perceived as a bunch of Satanists by half the country (though, considering how well they charted, that half must’ve secretly been listening to Paranoid as well).
Still, no matter how mainstream he got, I don’t think anyone expected to see Ozzy Osbourne and his family in a reality show on MTV. Yup, what the Kardashians did, Ozzy did first and – depending who you ask – better, though the show performed only decently and lasted 4 seasons.
While others would probably requalify into full-time, Ozzy continued to put out music. And well-performing music too: in 2003 he finally got his first UK #1 single, with a new version of Black Sabbath ballad “Changes” – a duet with his daughter Kelly. While this happened, Osbourne was in a hospital, recovering from an emergency surgery: he had an accident with his quad bike – and had to be resuscitated by his bodyguard.
Proving he’s truly unbillable until he himself decides it’s his time to – Ozzy got well, got out of the hospital, and actively continued putting out new music, touring, performing at Ozzfest, and appearing on TV.
Then, in November of 2011, a bomb dropped – Black Sabbath finally reunited, and reunited not only for a tour but for new music. The album, simply named 13, dropped on June 11, 2013, and promptly topped the UK and US album charts.
Probably thinking he had to do something to shock his fans after a few pretty quiet years, Ozzy offered his the listeners something they were definitely not expecting – a collaboration with Post Malone and Travis Scott. The song called Take What You Want debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart and became Ozzy’s first Top 10 in over 30 years (what can we say, it’s a pretty good song).
In February 2020, he released his first album in almost 10 years and maybe accidentally started the apocalypse (sure, you can’t prove it but you can’t disprove it either), but the album got positive reviews from both the critics and his fans who’d waited for a long time – so if he did start the apocalypse, it was probably worth it.