Did the Osbournes split with Sony over Kelly snub? Ozzy is leaving the label after 23 years, as is his low-selling daughter

By Gary Susman
May 12, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Osbournes are moving out. The family confirmed reports on Friday that Kelly Osbourne is leaving Sony Music, and her dad is going with her, leaving the label that’s been his home for 23 years. But is Ozzy leaving because the label dropped his daughter?

That’s what a report in Us Weekly said, reporting that the label was letting her go in the midst of recording her second album, now that there’s a new regime in charge (Andrew Lack took over for longtime label chief Tommy Mottola, who left in January) that’s busy cutting costs and laying off employees. Kelly’s 2002 album, ”Shut Up,” sold 150,000 copies, according to SoundScan, a respectable number for a debut artist but disappointing perhaps for one with such a high media profile and extended MTV exposure.

Osbournes spokesperson Lisa Vega denies that report, telling Reuters that Kelly has not been recording another album, and saying that Sony agreed to let Kelly go after Mottola left the label.

A statement by Sharon Osbourne describes the split between the family and Sony as ”amicable.” Said Sharon, ”We’ve had 23 great years together. We’ve shared many great successes, but sometimes you have to search out fresh blood to get fresh ideas, which is a philosophy that every record company, especially Sony, understands.”

Sony signed Ozzy in 1980 as the Black Sabbath frontman was launching his solo career. Since then, he’s released 15 studio albums, as well as live albums and ”Osbournes” TV show-related discs, including Kelly’s CD. However, the family is not cutting all ties; son Jack will remain a talent scout for Sony’s Epic imprint.