Don't put her in a bad mood

Kelly Osbourne, who knows how to be blunt, wants folks to focus more on her music

March 31, 2003|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

Stranger things have happened, but in a recent 14-minute conversation, Kelly Osbourne is actually polite.

The "b" word - you know, the one that rhymes with "witch" - makes a mere three appearances. And the four-letter word she uses on the MTV reality show The Osbournes about as often as any teen would use "like" surfaces only once.

Ask the 18-year-old wild child of Ozzy Osbourne about her usual potty mouth, however, and that really sets her off.

"People need to loosen up," she says, in a call from a Minneapolis hotel room. "We're not going to walk around like Mr. and Mrs. Polite. That's not real. You know what I mean? Like, [bleep] off. Why sit there and just say, `Oh, you're bothering me.' Say what you feel!"

Now, that's more like the Kelly America has come to know and love.

These days, however, she's hoping people will grow to like her for more than just her role in the country's favorite foul-mouthed family show. In November, she released her first album, Shut Up, an 11-track work of rocking pop songs that sound like Avril Lavigne - but angrier. And this month, she began a 21-city tour to promote it. Tonight, Osbourne is scheduled to perform at the Black Cat in Washington.

And what advice did her famous father have before she went on tour?

"He said I should just come out and have fun," she says. "One thing he always says is, `Whatever happens on stage, leave it on stage. Don't take it with you. If you mess up on a song, just leave it on stage.' "

It's been a year since Kelly Osbourne became a household name with the debut of her family's show on MTV. Since then, she's endured paparazzi trailing her, her parents, brother Jack and sister Aimee. She's also had to deal publicly with everything from a boyfriend dumping her on Valentine's Day to her mother's colon cancer - which now is in remission. Even her freak-out over a gynecology appointment and a mondo tantrum at her 18th birthday party became the business of everyone tuning in to Chez Osbourne.

"A lot of the situations are edited to make me look like a [jerk] sometimes," she says of her birthday party in Las Vegas. "That was a royal disaster from the beginning. I was told that because Jack had invited 15 of his friends, I wasn't allowed to bring my friends. ... No one mentioned that that happened, that's why I was in a bad mood. My brother completely turned something that was supposed to be about me into something about him. And everyone said I was a big brat because I was complaining."

There have been pluses, she acknowledges, to the sudden fame - like opening the door to her musical career, which began when she performed Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach" at last year's MTV Movie Awards. But there is one thing she doesn't enjoy about it.

"I don't like people coming up to me and saying that I was a [rhymes with witch] in something," she says. "Everyone's entitled to be in a bad mood at some point. ... It bugs me 'cause if you're a [ditto] one day on the show you're a [ditto] the rest of your life in the eyes of a fan."

For now, though, she's determined to focus on her music instead of the show. And she seems to be doing it in the way she knows best - drawing attention with her sharp tongue.

Recently, she pointedly set herself apart from cropped-top pop tarts like Christina Aguilera when she called her "one of the most disgusting human beings in the world."

"It is the truth and the truth hurts," she says, dismissively. "She actually spoke to me and I couldn't understand a word that she was saying. She tries to speak in ebonics and it doesn't work for her.

"I wouldn't say I'm friends with the Britney Spearses of the world," she concludes. "That's just not me."

Kelly Osbourne

When: Tonight; doors open 8:30 p.m.

Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th St. N.W., Washington

Admission: $15

Call: 410-481-SEAT or go to

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