When Ozzy Osbourne declared himself “the prince of fucking darkness” on a 2002 episode of The Osbournes, he may as well have simultaneously relinquished the title. The MTV hit quickly dissolved 30 years’ worth of mystique and danger as it revealed him to be in reality a doddering old family man. But when Ozzy rose to fame in the ’70s, every other rock star had an interest in the occult (or at least Hobbits), and heavy metal was still genuinely thought of as the province of Satanists, not nerdy gearheads. But who could be pop music’s reigning prince of darkness in the era of rock star transparency, when every famous musician has a whiny MySpace blog? Since it’s Halloween, we decided to think of a few options:
7. Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance
In one sense, Way is a no-brainer; he’s the closest thing to a goth rock star we’ve got these days, someone who dresses in skeleton-themed outfits and writes rock operas about death. But he also comes off a bit too much like the wholesome kid from New Jersey he probably really is to have any real mystique. And when the British press denounced his band and the emo movement as a whole as a “death cult that encourages kids to self-harm,” Way vehemently disagreed with that assessment, which speaks well of him as a person, but kind of blows his P.O.D. credentials. Plus, the photo at left clearly states that he is a princess.
6. David Draiman of Disturbed
He’s got creepy facial piercings, makes sounds like a rabid monkey when he sings, and fronts a hugely successful metal band. And yet, I have to admit, he still kind of comes off like a schlubby dork.
Three years ago, Rihanna was an adorable little Caribbean pop princess, but as she’s gotten more successful, her image has unexpectedly evolved from long wavy hair to asymmetrical Aeon Flux bob, from summery booty shorts to leather dominatrix outfits. And you get the feeling that no one at Def Jam told her to look more androgynous or make videos like “Disturbia,”. She just really wanted to make a creepy video full of zombies.
4. No. 8 of Slipknot
Just kidding! We all know that under the mask your name is Corey and you look like this.
3. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath
Let’s face it, even if Ozzy was the Prince of Darkness, it was Sabbath’s guitarist who always exuded a much darker aura. C’mon, the guy looks like a freakin’ supervillain.
2. Nick Cave
Sure, Cave is only moderately famous, and he has a bit less mystique now than he did in his Birthday Party days. But he’s been on a roll lately, career-wise, and is as committed as ever to looking totally creepy.
1. Lil Wayne
Whether or not he ever becomes the guitar-slinging rock star he seems to want to be lately, Lil Wayne is perhaps the most archetypally kooky, drug-addled superstar in the Ozzy mode on this list, a guy who has tattoos all over his face and says increasingly bizarre shit every time there’s a microphone in front of him. All he has to do to cement his title now is bite the head off of a bat. What is a goon to a goblin, anyway?