- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sharon Osbourne, the wife of famous rocker Ozzy Osbourne — and a co-host of “The Talk” — slammed music band U2 for its members’ decisions to give away its newly released album on iTunes.

Apple is reported to have paid $100 million in fees and marketing for the Irish rock group’s newest album, “Songs of Innocence,” CNN reported. The marketing campaign includes worldwide television coverage of the band and its campaign, The New York Times reported.

But Mrs. Osbourne called it a raw deal, and said the band’s move made her sick.

In a tweet, Mrs. Osbourne wrote: “U2 you are business moguls not musicians anymore. No wonder you have to give your mediocre music away for free cause no one wants to buy it.”

Under the terms of the deal, U2 released its album to every iTunes subscriber. And the group made its announced gift known at the Cupertino, Calif., press conference for the new iPhone 6.

“The question is now, how do we get it to as many people as possible, because that’s what our band is all about,” said U2’s lead singer, Bono, CNN reported. “I believe you have over half a billion subscribers to iTunes, so — could you get this to them?”

Shortly after, the album showed up in Apple’s estimated 500 million customers in 119 nations, The New York Times reported.

But as Mrs. Osbourne said — the giveaway isn’t really U2’s act of sacrifice.

“Guys nothing is for free, how much you making? PS, btw you are just a bunch of middle age political groupies,” she wrote in a separate tweet.

And the band’s new manager, Guy Oseary, said that “this is a gift from Apple to their customers. They bought it and they are giving it away,” The New York Times reported.

Mrs. Osbourne said the whole transaction undercuts the ability of up-and-coming musicians to succeed.

On “The Talk,” Mrs. Osbourne elaborated on her view: “[U2 is setting] a precedent that music is disposable, it’s just another piece of software, and it’s nothing — you should give it away for free. There’s a whole new breed of artist coming up that need that money to survive to be able to continue to create. We’re not all billionaires. We’re not all in your world. So stop with you’re ‘doing us a favor by giving it away for free.’ Keep it to yourselves,” CNN reported.

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