Stars Who Can't Stand Ozzy Osbourne

Whether he's the devilishly charming shrieker fronting Black Sabbath or his solo band, or shuffling around the house on his reality sitcom, it's easy to like Ozzy Osbourne — but most people haven't worked with the guy. Across the bizarre history of heavy metal music, no one looms larger than the self-proclaimed "Prince of Darkness." 

Osbourne has enjoyed a controversial career that's lasted for more than five decades. But he's apparently metaphorically stepped on quite a few people to make it to the top and stay there. Osbourne has made a lot of enemies and adversaries along the way, particularly other musicians, tertiary entertainment industry figures, and even his own bandmates. "Ozzy Osbourne" is the rare household name whose utterance has left a bad taste in the mouths of too many of his closest rivals and contemporaries. While there are numerous celebrities that Ozzy Osbourne can't stand, here are some famous people so put off by Osbourne they've openly discussed their dislike for the metal icon.

Ronnie James Dio

With his drug use no longer permissible, Ozzy Osbourne found himself fired by Black Sabbath in 1979. Only another high-status heavy metal figure could succeed Osbourne, and Black Sabbath found one of the most successful band member replacements ever in Ronnie James Dio. Previously the frontman for Elf and Rainbow, Dio sang on two popular 'Black Sabbath albums: "Heaven and Hell" and "Mob Rules." (Dio later left Black Sabbath for one particular reason.)

The environment in Black Sabbath during Dio's tenure was distinctly anti-Osbourne, and Dio joined in, particularly after Osbourne disparaged guitarist Tony Iommi in music publications. "I've heard the things that Ozzy has said about Tony and myself in particular," Dio told a reporter in the early 1980s. "Replying to them, to the things that Ozzy has said, to me is like dueling with an unarmed man. It really is. I feel like someone who has a sword against someone who has no clue what a weapon is. I find the man to be stupid, totally devoid of intelligence, an animal."

Dio went on to call nonsense on Osbourne taking credit for writing some of Black Sabbath's best-known songs. "I doubt very much that Ozzy could carry a tune if you put a radio in a suitcase and gave it to him in his hand," Dio said. "I sincerely doubt that, and I know it for a fact because I've heard this from the people who have worked with him for 12 years."

Kanye West

Rapper Kanye West, someone you might not want to meet in real life, wanted to sample a live performance of Ozzy Osbourne performing a Black Sabbath song for "Carnival," a track on his 2024 album "Vultures 1." Osbourne wouldn't allow it. "Because he is an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many," Osbourne explained of West on X, formerly known as Twitter. Back in October 2022, West tweeted, "death con 3 on Jewish people" (per Billboard), one of many charged actions that led to West losing radio play and several business deals.

Disregarding Osbourne's rejection of his request, West used the sample, as heard at a "Vultures 1" listening party in February 2024. After Osbourne broke the news of the sampling scandal, West added more criticism of Osbourne to his Instagram Story, posting a picture from Halloween 2023 of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne in costume as West and his wife, Bianca Censori. By trying to point out that Osbourne really liked West, the rapper questioned the veracity of Osbourne's more recent comments, thus dismissing them. "He obviously has a celebrity handler who's on his account," West wrote (via Loudwire). For the retail release of "Vultures 1," West abandoned the Black Sabbath song in favor of generic guitar distortion.

Bill Ward

Black Sabbath reunited in 2012 with three of its four original members — only drummer Bill Ward sat it out. Unwilling to record or play shows with the group fronted by Ozzy Osbourne, Ward refused an agreement with what he considered to be poor financial terms. Three years later, with another potential full reunion looming, Ward again said no — specifically because Osbourne had acted cruelly toward him. "The often inaccurate statements about me as a person and as a musician have caused me to be guarded and be especially detached emotionally and spiritually from Ozzy," Ward wrote on Facebook. "His rhetoric above all has brought me the most discord." 

Ward didn't go into much detail about what exactly Osbourne had said that upset him so much. But the singer did criticize the drummer around the time of a 2013 Black Sabbath show (with a replacement drummer) in New York. "I don't think he could have done the gig, to be honest. He's incredibly overweight," Osbourne told the New York Daily News. "A drummer has to be in shape. He's already had two heart attacks. I don't want to be responsible for his life." By 2017, the former bandmates still hadn't made amends. "I regret the loss of Ozzy's friendship," Ward said on Facebook.

Don Arden

Don Arden started managing Black Sabbath, a band once cursed by Satanists, in 1976. Upon launching his solo career after leaving Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy Osbourne hired Sharon Arden — Don Arden's employee and daughter — to manage his career. The elder Arden tried to get Osbourne into his client portfolio, but to no avail, particularly because Sharon Arden and Osbourne married in 1982, the same year that Black Sabbath dumped Don Arden.

In 1985, Arden sued Ozzy Osbourne, alleging that the singer told Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi that Arden had taken financial improprieties with the group's money. The Osbournes also reportedly urged Black Sabbath to take a three-year hiatus to diminish the amount of money Arden could earn. That, said Arden's lawsuit, constituted slander and business interference.

While that lawsuit was active, Arden appeared on Los Angeles talk show "Tom Snyder" in 1986 in a panel discussion about the impact of rock lyrics on impressionable young listeners. At the time, Jack McCollum had sued Osbourne, blaming the musician behind the song "Suicide Solution" for his son's 1984 death by suicide. Arden defended his son-in-law and former client with a withering putdown. "I would be doubtful as to whether Mr. Osbourne knew the meaning of the lyrics — if there was a meaning — because his command of the English language is minimal anyway, so I wouldn't think there was any evil intent there," Arden said (via the Los Angeles Times).

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Bob Daisley

When Ozzy Osbourne put together the first backing band of his solo career, he recruited former Chicken Shack and Mungo Jerry bassist Bob Daisley. The musician was heavily involved with Osbourne's first post-Black Sabbath LPs, "Blizzard of Ozz" (1980) and "Diary of a Madman" (1981), playing bass, helping produce, and writing 15 of the two albums' 16 collective tracks. And then Osbourne dismissed Daisley from his band, and soon thereafter, the bassist began his long legal journey to receive the credit and compensation he felt that he was owed for his contributions.

Daisley won a 1986 lawsuit against Osbourne, receiving the songwriting credits he'd previously been denied, setting up the musician to receive royalties from future sales of the two albums on which he wrote and played. Daisley would sue Osbourne again in 2002 over a scheme that denied him royalties for his bass playing. Epic Records had released new versions of "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman," with Daisley's bass removed and replaced with a studio musician's efforts. Then in 2016, Daisley filed papers against Osbourne once again for allegedly and illegally failing to pay $2 million in royalties generated by just one of the originally contested songs, "Crazy Train."

Justin Hawkins

The Darkness injected some throwback metal vibes into the rock scene with its first album in 2003. Spandex-clad, high-note-hitting singer Justin Hawkins was heralded as a modern-day answer to rock singers of yore, like AC/DC's Bon Scott, or Queen's Freddie Mercury. But Hawkins' path crossed that of Ozzy Osbourne twice, and both times it was a disappointing experience for the Darkness frontman. In 2018, the Darkness played the Sweden Rock Festival. Osbourne was among the headliners for the three-day event, and Hawkins wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, about the unpalatable backstage environment fostered by the metal legend. "Backstage in LOCKDOWN. Ozzy is arriving," Hawkins said, "so nobody is allowed to leave their dressing rooms! Heaven forbid the main attraction should have to endure a counter with a fellow artiste."

That non-interaction with Osbourne triggered Hawkins' memory of another near miss. Sometime earlier, Metal Hammer proposed the Darkness interview Osbourne. "Then it transpired that we were to be collected in a 'blacked-in car' so we couldn't see where we were being driven to," Hawkins wrote. "I (im)politely declined the opportunity."