Did you know that Ozzy Osbourne currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest scream by a crowd without stopping? The scream, which was part of a publicity campaign to promote his album — appropriately entitled "Scream" — lasted one minute and eight seconds and was registered between 105-107 decibels. Had the stunt also broken the record for the loudest scream by a crowd, as was the intention, the decibel level would have been over 127.5 decibels, the equivalent of the threshold of pain.
Of course the former lead singer of Black Sabbath is no stranger to loud noise and has a lengthy history of recording heavy metal music, including hit songs such as Bark at the Moon, Hellraiser, Let Me Hear You Scream and You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll.
Unfortunately, Ozzy’s constant exposure to loud music has been a key factor in causing hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing issues can be caused by a number of factors including old age, disease, infection, some drugs, personal trauma and exposure to loud noise. It’s no secret that Ozzy has dealt with drug and alcohol abuse and has also suffered with depression.
"I suffer from permanent tinnitus … which means I've got this constant ringing in my ears, which has also made me somewhat deaf (or "conveniently deaf," as Sharon calls it). It's like this Whee!! noise in my head all the time. Should have worn earplugs, I guess," wrote Ozzy, referring to his wife Sharon, in his "Ask Dr. Ozzy" column in the Sunday Times newspaper.
These days, Ozzy is somewhat of a transformed character and focuses on family values and healthier living. Ozzy is active in promoting healthy hearing, and has raised funds to fight hearing loss, handing out complimentary hearing aids at charity events and guest starring in the "Listen Smart" DVD, a hearing education movie produced by H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers) which you can see here:
It’s doubtful that Ozzy, who is 63, will stop recording loud music, but hopefully his hearing loss awareness will encourage many of his fans to take steps to protect their own hearing and stay connected to the people — and music — they love.