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People of the Year 2002: Kelly Osbourne

In 2002, she spent $75,000 on a watch, wrestled her brother, got a boyfriend and made an album

Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne

Tim Roney/Getty Images

Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne’s middle child, eighteen-year-old Kelly, is her mother’s daughter: a wickedly funny, brutally honest, pint-size, potty-mouthed spitfire. An unlikely candidate for America’s sweetheart, and yet, as The Osbournes became MTV’s highest-rated show ever, Kelly became famous for simply being herself. Before the year is up, she will release her debut album, Shut Up, which she calls a mix of Iggy Pop, Hole and the Go-Go’s. “I know that if I wasn’t Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter and I wasn’t on TV, this album would be taken way more seriously,” she says. “Because of those things, I will never be considered a serious artist. That kind of shit really doesn’t bother me, though. I did it for me.”

What was the best day of your year?
The weekend after the show came out, me and my mom were walking down the street, and it just hit us like a ton of shit — like, “Oh, my God, this thing really did work.” One day we were normal, and the next day we were the most famous family in America.

What was the worst day?
The day I did the photo shoot for Teen People. I was really tired and we were running really late, and I got in a fistfight with my brother, and I was hysterical. I don’t like doing photo shoots with him, because he tries to be really funny and cocky, but always at my expense. And I’ll try to keep my mouth shut, but then I’ll come out with something, and everybody will look at me like I’m the asshole. He had a broken elbow at the time, so he couldn’t fight back. I had big, huge biker boots on, and I was kicking the shit out of him, but I didn’t care, because I was so mad.

Was it your worst fight ever?
No, the worst fight we have ever got in was during Ozzfest two years ago. Jack was drunk and I was drunk, and I was antagonizing him. He punched me so hard I had fist bruises all over me for three months. He doesn’t hit me anymore because he realizes it’s not like when we were kids and he’d hit me and it would just sting for a few seconds. Sometimes he does this thing called a horse bite where he’ll grab your thigh really hard and pinch it. It hurts so bad; it gets you and you’re down for a good five minutes.

How was it shooting the second season of The Osbournes?
We’ve become such good friends with the crew. It’s like they’re our family and you can tell them to fuck off and really mean it, and they’ll get the picture. Everyone says, “You only did it for the money.” Well, fuck, yeah. If someone was throwing money at you to have a camera shoved in your face, you’d do it, too. But I won’t do a third season. You have to quit while you’re ahead. I want to be able to walk around in my underwear and not be like, “Oh, shit, there’s a camera there.”

What was your favorite record this year?
I haven’t heard anything that great this year. I’m not impressed. I just think everything is so safe. I’m sick of the “the” bands, if you know what I mean. People are going to get sick of that “I’m so cool, don’t even touch me” attitude. That’s not what people can relate to, because no one is that cool.

It’s style over substance.
I think people need to start listening to music more and paying less attention to appearance. I’m sorry, but speaking of that, Rolling Stone hasn’t put a fully clothed woman on the cover in God knows how long. Christina Aguilera looks like Jay Leno in your last issue. It’s not as if she’s an ugly girl. If she wore less makeup, I think she would be pretty. But she looks like Dee Snider from Twisted Sister at all times. At least Jennifer Love Hewitt looks pretty. At least she didn’t look like a teenage boy that had a sex change.

What do you think will happen next year?
You know what I’ve noticed? Pop singers are trying to become rock singers. Nick Carter is a bad parody of himself. He looks like the Saturday Night Live skit of himself. He’s turned rock and has a band now.

You know whose fault it is? Pink. She reinvented herself as a rocker, and now everyone thinks they can do it.
Pink isn’t rock. That’s like saying Avril Lavigne is rock. That’s not fucking rock. I get what people see in her, though. She’s cute. If she’s trying to be rock and she says her idol is Johnny Rzeznik, I don’t think she’ll get very far.

She thinks he’s cute.
Ugh. Ugh. I’m gagging. Please. He just reminds me of an old man who sticks his hair in his face. My mom used to think he was hot, though.

When did you record your album?
I recorded over the summer, and it was really hard because I had to move to New York and leave my mom at the height of her illness. I was like, “Mom, I can’t do this,” but she was like, “You have to go on with your life.”

Did it end up being a good distraction?
Yeah, it really was. In a way it was bad, because I got so used to saying, “Yeah, my mom’s fine, she’s doing great,” and then I got home and it was like, “Oh, fuck, she’s really not OK right now.” It fucked with my head for a while. But they changed her chemo around, and it’s almost as if she doesn’t have an illness, other than she gets tired sometimes.

What fun stuff did you do in New York?
I was going out every night, and it was getting bad. The record-company people had to sit me down. The guy at the record company, Steve Barnett, he was at the hospital holding my mom’s hand because my dad passed out in the waiting room when I was being born. They’ve known me my entire life, so they look after me. They would give me talks, like, “You need to stop going out and drinking.”

Did you do much shopping in New York?
I did. I spend so much money it’s not even a joke. I’m really bad when it comes to makeup and beauty products — face washes, body lotions, stuff I never even use. It’s rarely ever that my mom will even get me to get in the shower, let alone use any of those products.

What’s the most extravagant thing you bought this year?
I bought a $75,000 watch. I had just got my first check from MTV. I’d never bought myself anything. It felt so good to pay for something so expensive with my own money. And seriously, I wore it every day for, like, three months. Then one day I was like, “Oh, shit, this thing really is expensive and I’m afraid I’m going to ruin it.” So now I have it locked up in this cabinet built into my bedroom wall, and I’m terrified anything is going to happen to it.

Do you get a lot of free clothes?
I do, but most of it is shit. I get some cool stuff, but a lot of people think I’m really fat, so they send me stuff that doesn’t fit me.

And you’re like, “Fuck you!”
No, I don’t care. At least I always have a gift to give someone on birthdays. Just wrap it up and it’s like, “Look what I got you!”

Are you going out with that guy in the Used?
Yeah, his name’s Bert. It’s a really funny story, because I had that record and I listened to it every day. But I didn’t know what any of them looked like. One day during Ozzfest, he came up and started talking to me. I had told my friends I thought he was hot, but I didn’t know he was in a band. I thought he was a roadie. It’s hard, because I always promised myself I would never date anyone in a band. Because I’ve grown up around it my whole life. When there are bands on Ozzfest, you become friends with them and their girlfriends. And I’ve seen so many of them get hurt and still go back for more. I would never put myself in that position — I really like him, so I’m willing to give it a chance. But anyone I date, I’m like, “You’ve got one fucking chance, and if you blow it, tough luck.”

What’s the longest-term boyfriend you’ve ever had?
Eight months. I never have boyfriends, ever. I never even picture myself that way, because I get sick of people so easily. And I’m really mean in relationships. I’m such a bitch. I start arguments and then they’ll turn around and say something mean, and I’ll make it look like it was their fault all along. Oh, but all of [Bert’s] fans absolutely hate me.

You think, so?
Oh, I know so. They see him as the sex symbol in the band, and they have a lot of female fans. And they just think I’m retarded and disgusting and fat and ugly, and they tell me they don’t like me. I find it really funny, because all my fans don’t like Bert. I did an in-store in Australia, and this kid had a shirt on that said, “Fuck Bert. Date Me.”

Which of your hairstyles this year did you like best?
 The one I have now. I found this vintage Vidal Sassoon book and combined two haircuts from the Sixties. One is the bowl cut the Beatles had. The other is a V-shape that comes around to the side of my chin. I’m going to keep it black for a while. My hair grows very quickly. I have to dye it every two weeks. My hairdresser can’t believe after all the bleaching and dyeing that my hair doesn’t feel like pubic hair. He says I have the healthiest hair he’s ever seen.

Are you and Jack competitive at all?
I didn’t think we used to be. But you have to look at it this way: My brother has been in the spotlight his whole life. Everybody has always known him as Ozzy’s son. I was never noticed. Now the tables have turned. He would never voice that to me, but I can tell. He’s one of those people that never really asks for the attention, but he fucking loves that all these girls come up to him. If it stopped, I think he’d question it.

If you had to sum up the year in five words …
Pretty fucking good. That’s only three. You should say, “Five words or less,” that way it doesn’t make anyone look like a retard. Has there been any good gossip on me? I haven’t heard any good gossip on myself in a while. Other than the fact that I got in trouble in Australia for drinking underage.

I haven’t heard anything, no. Start a rumor about yourself.
That’s just trying too hard. You have to just wait and see if something sticks to you. 

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