Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute

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The bassist/songwriter alleges Osbourne’s Blizzard Music ‘short-changed’ him in connection with hit song Crazy Train – a claim the company denies

Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute
Ozzy Osbourne performing in 2014. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne’s former bassist Bob Daisley has sued the musician and his company Blizzard Music Limited for unpaid royalties. The musician has accused Osbourne of withholding over $2m in unpaid royalties from the song Crazy Train.

Released in 1980, both Osbourne and Daisley are credited as the song’s writers along with late guitarist Randy Rhoads. According to documents released after the filing at a court in Nevada on 8 August, Daisley’s complaint alleges that an audit revealed Osbourne and Blizzard Music were “improperly deducting undisclosed fees before distributing royalties to Daisley and improperly withholding Daisley’s rightful share of royalties owed under the publishing agreements for the commercial exploitations of the songs”.

Ozzy Osbourne sued by Bob Daisley in unpaid royalties dispute
The Blizzard of Ozz lineup … from left, Randy Rhoads, Lee Kerslake, Ozzy Osbourne and Bob Daisley at Ridge Farm Studio, Surrey, in 1980. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

Daisley performed with Osbourne on Blizzard of Ozz, the Black Sabbath singer’s first solo album in 1980, and was involved in 1981’s Diary of a Madman but was fired before its release. While Daisley and drummer Lee Kerslake successfully sued for royalties and credit for their work on this album in 1986, allegations made in 2002 over alleged unpaid performance royalties were dismissed.

“While Mr Osbourne was benefiting from the songs co-authored by our client, the audit shows that he was systematically short-changing Mr Daisley,” said Daisley’s lawyer Alan Howard of the 2016 allegations. “Mr Daisley had no choice but to bring this action to secure his fair share of the proceeds those songs have generated.”

Osbourne has refuted the charges, and, in an email statement to Rolling Stone his representative said: “For the past 36 years, Mr Daisley has been receiving biannual royalty statements and checks from Blizzard Music, totalling in the millions of dollars, which have been routinely cashed.

“We understand that Mr Daisley is now in retirement and that these funds are his main source of income, so it is his right to be diligent with his money, but after 36 years, this is tantamount to harassment. We would have hoped that after 36 years that Mr Daisley would have lost his unhealthy personal obsession and resentment towards Mr Osbourne’s success. Blizzard Music and Mr Osbourne plan to vigorously defend these proceedings.”

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