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Heavy metal pioneer Ozzy Osbourne first gained exposure as co-founder and vocalist of the groundbreaking hard rock band Black Sabbath, which formed in 1969 in Osbourne's hometown of Birmingham, England. After nearly a decade of helping to define the parameters of the heavy metal genre, Osbourne embarked upon a solo career that brought him even more success and infamy. He became a symbol for hard rock excess and outrageousness, thanks to his music's quasi-Satanic imagery, his very public substance abuse, and an assortment of bizarre stunts (such as biting the head off of a dove in front of a roomful of record executives and an arrest for urinating against the Alamo). Osbourne's few silver screen appearances have been cameos in youth-oriented films that play off his image as the ultimate rock & roll heathen, though his interview segment in the documentary The Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years was one of the few down-to-earth, honest moments in a revealing, and often damning, portrayal of the metal scene's fans and performers. However, it was with the 2002 premiere of the MTV reality series The Osbournes that Ozzy entered the strangest chapter of his career in the public eye. Millions tuned in weekly to peer into the day-to-day life of the Osbourne clan, as captured by a camera crew set up in the family mansion. Ozzy was revealed to be a sweet (if addled) husband and father who loved his wife and children despite the unending chaos and profanity that distinguished their home. The popularity of the series made Osbourne (and the rest of his brood) more famous than ever with many viewers who had never even heard his music. Along with wife Sharon, Ozzy became a symbol of modern parenting for some, and proof of American society's utter dysfunction to others. What's certain is that The Osbournes humanized the long-reviled singer's image and brought Ozzy mainstream television fame that no one could have ever predicted.
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