Heavy metal superstar Ozzy Osbourne, infamous for biting the head off a bat in his younger days, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday for his dark brand of showmanship.
Wearing a black suit, a large gold cross and round, blue glasses, with bright red streaks in his brown hair, Osbourne accepted the star with humility.
“To say that this is an honor is not enough,” he said. “This is just so overwhelming, with all of you turning out so early in the morning to see my old butt.”
The 53-year-old is enjoying renewed popularity with the MTV reality series “The Osbournes,” which chronicles the singer’s home life with his wife, Sharon, and two of their children – pink-haired Kelly, 17, and spikey-haired Jack, 16.
The crowd of nearly 1,000 shrieking fans was a sea of multicolored hair, pierced faces and tattoos. Some waved wrinkled posters of the singer or scrawled his name across their foreheads in black ink.
Fittingly, his star was placed in the sidewalk in front of Hollywood Boulevard’s “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” museum of oddities.
Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson introduced the singer, saying Osbourne’s life is evidence that “eternally unhappy” people do not necessarily have to “go insane or become criminals.”
“This star right here proves that it’s quite obvious that Ozzy has managed to succeed while remaining insane and strangely happy despite his various crimes against God and nature,” Manson said.
Osbourne helped popularize heavy metal in the 1970s with Black Sabbath, which had hits such as “Iron Man” and “War Pigs.” The band has sold nearly 25 million records in the United States.
Most contemporary hard rock acts were influenced by Osbourne’s blend of angry lyrics, on-stage stunts and disconcerting images of death and evil, which often employed quasi-Christian symbolism.
Osbourne also has had a successful solo career with hits including “Bark at the Moon,” “Crazy Train” and “Shot in the Dark.” His albums have sold 35 million copies worldwide.
His annual Ozzfest concert tour, started in 1996, consistently has ranked as a top draw, featuring lineups that have included him and Black Sabbath in addition to Manson, Crazy Town and Papa Roach.
Despite his wild-man reputation, the singer appears on “The Osbournes” as a loving, somewhat befuddled dad who gives his children sage advice about the dangers of sex, drugs and booze.
He speaks from experience; the Birmingham, England, musician has long battled substance abuse, and was notorious in his younger years for trashing hotel rooms, mistreating animals and languishing in drug-addled stupors.