Ozzy Osbourne's wife and manager may be the most powerful woman in rock

By Nancy Miller
September 01, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

If Sharon Osbourne, wife of Ozzy Osbourne, has her way, you might catch a version of this real-life scene somewhere between Road Rules and The Real World: Ozzy and his wife/manager, Sharon, sit in their corporate jet engaging in a round of friendly bickering. On their way to an all-day, late-July Ozzfest tour date in Boston, Ozzy is tired and cranky, having barely gotten a wink of sleep the night before. But it’s not what you think. Sharon, who in addition to managing her husband and the entire 29-city Ozzfest production, happens to have a terrible habit of reading magazines very loudly.

”All night she turns the pages, moving them like they’re f—ing gravestones,” grumbles Ozzy, sounding like a heavy metal Walter Matthau. ”Krrrrip! Krrrip! Ripping the pages. It’s so f—ing loud. And then the clicker, she clicks it all night long, 800 channels and never watches one thing. I don’t get any bloody sleep.”

”I do love my trashy magazines,” Sharon admits.

Ozzy rolls his eyes.

”Oh darling, you suffer so much, don’t you!” she teases.

”Yeah,” nods Ozzy. ”I bloody do!”

”Poor baby, I am so sorry,” she coos, with her soothing English accent. ”I promise tonight I will be quiet.”


During this current reality-show craze, what better than a series about the Osbourne family and their wacky rock & roll life? The pilot practically writes itself: The charming and chatty Sharon, 47, already plays Harriet to Ozzy’s slightly weathered Ozzie, a rock legend who’s left his bad, bat Black Sabbath days behind him and is now the éminence grise of metal and doting dad to three (Aimee, 16; Kelly, 15; and Jack, 14; plus Lewis and Jessica, both in their 20s, from a previous marriage). You can just hear the pitch: ”It’s Addams Family + Family Ties x Big Brother!”

In fact, Sharon says her production company and MTV are in discussions for just such a series, but in the meantime, you can catch the real Sharon and Ozzy show every weekend around the U.S. this summer. Their Ozzfest is a rollicking, relentless heavy metal rockathon featuring Ozzy and 19 other hard-edged bands. And though she may not be a part of the lineup, Sharon Osbourne is very much one of its stars. ”I’ve been on the road doing this for 30 years. I don’t really know how to live any other way,” says Ozzy. ”And only Sharon really understands that.” She nods earnestly: ”This is true. He really needs me.”

One of the rare rock-star wives who has never been an actress, model, or Penthouse Pet, Sharon, who has managed her husband since 1979 (they married in ’82), helped get Ozzfest off the ground. In 1995, she approached Lollapalooza to see if she could book a few dates for Ozzy. She claims she was refused because the tour’s promoters thought the aging veteran wasn’t cool enough: ”I said, ‘Fine. F— you. I’ll go do my own thing.”’ She promptly put together 16 metal bands with Ozzy as headliner, and got two dates to play (Phoenix and L.A.). The shows sold out, and Ozzfest was born.