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Kelly Osbourne empowers with talk at Usher’s World Leadership Conference

Kelly Osbourne, post-appearance at Emory Wednesday as part of Usher's Wolrd Leadership Conference. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Kelly Osbourne, post-appearance at Emory Wednesday as part of Usher's Wolrd Leadership Conference. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri

Kelly Osbourne knows about being a mess.

In the early-to-mid-2000s, around the time she and her family lived in the self-inflicted fishbowl called “The Osbournes,” the middle Osbourne sibling endured the fallout from drug addiction, too much partying and all of the other trappings of being young, rich and TV-famous.

But the Kelly Osbourne of today couldn’t be more different than her teenaged self.

At 27, she is both poised and endearingly shy, telling a small crowd of young adults at Usher’s World Leadership Conference, “Don’t give up on yourselves. I’m the perfect example of how you can change because I was a [screw] up.”

This is the third year for the event, presented by Usher’s New Look Foundation, a non-profit founded by the Atlanta-based R&B star to empower young people worldwide.

At the kickoff of the three-day meeting Wednesday morning in the Harland Cinema at Emory’s Goizueta Business School, Osbourne charmed the group with her 15-minute empowerment speech, giving one girl a quick hug on her way out the door.

After her speech, the tiny-waisted multi-hyphenate (she’s been a singer, author, activist and currently, a TV star again as part of the “Fashion Police” panel on E!), chatted in a side room for a few minutes about her involvement with Usher’s charity.

Though she declined not to discuss her brother Jack’s recent multiple sclerosis diagnosis – “I’d prefer not to talk about that,” she said politely – she candidly explained why she agrees to do these types of appearances, despite her stage fright.

“I know what it feels like to feel like you’re nothing,” Osbourne said. “Being the child of celebrities is a blessing and a curse. I’m proud of it, but it’s [difficult].I can share my experiences and hopefully help others.”

Osbourne said she doesn’t know Usher extremely well, that they’ve met a few times, but before she finished reading his email asking her to speak at the conference, she agreed.

“So many people have helped me along the way, I owe it to myself to share in turn,” she said, her striking gray-blue eyes widening. “This is something I truly believe in. When you look at these kids, and they’re so young, I mean, they’re the future. It doesn’t matter what you’re going to be in life. If you’re going to be a plumber, then be the best damn plumber.”

Check out more of our coverage of Usher’s Leadership Conference on The Buzz Blog.

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By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

26 comments Add your comment


June 20th, 2012
4:35 pm

Kelly Osbourne got hot


June 20th, 2012
4:36 pm



I'm First

June 20th, 2012
4:36 pm

Seriously, glad to see her change for the better. God bless her brother & family.

I'm Third and Fourth

June 20th, 2012
4:37 pm

Guess I wasn’t first.

Southside Steve

June 20th, 2012
4:59 pm

I’d do her…if she wasn’t so old. YEAH COME ON!!!!!!!!

Slim Whitman Shady

June 20th, 2012
5:00 pm

Ugh @ Melissa you got off to such a great start with your introduction, and now you’re regaling us with the latest on Kelley Osbourne. I guess the editors were like “We need less Beatles, more Beiber.”

Melissa Ruggieri

June 20th, 2012
5:12 pm

Hey Slim – well, she was in town for Usher’s foundation event, and that’s a pretty big deal worth covering. And really, she has lived through a lot and genuinely seems to want to help younger adults who might be a little lost. Nothing wrong with that, really.


June 20th, 2012
5:22 pm

Kelly should be commended for flipping the script. Now if she would strip that awful lavender color from her hair, I’ll buy her story…!!!!


June 20th, 2012
5:23 pm

So many mixed signals from celebrities… can change. Be yourself. Be proud. Never give up. Born this way. Never be satisfied with how you are now. Reach for the stars. Be whatever you want to be. No wonder kids today are screwed up. No parents leading them so they listen to conflicting ways to live life.

Greg from Marietta

June 20th, 2012
5:24 pm

I second ‘Roekest’s’ exclamation, She most certainly did get “HOT”!!! I’m happy that she turned it around and wish her only the best. I am also pulling for her brother that was recently diagnosed with MS. That is going to be a challenge for her whole family.

Big Deal

June 20th, 2012
5:27 pm

Being a multimillionaire’s daughter is the key. She had access to as many $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ as it took to straighten her out.

gunga din

June 20th, 2012
5:28 pm

still a no talent skank who is only famous because of her brain dead father and whiny b-yatch of a mother. can’t really give any cred to someone who makes a living off criticizing how other people dress or look when she has purple hair !!! would not touch that with a ten foot pole .


June 20th, 2012
5:57 pm

She will always be the bratty child of the Adams family. And Usher is a rapper. Since when are either of these people leaders of anything?


June 20th, 2012
6:08 pm

They are leaders as long as there are millions of kids who are interested in what they do and what they have to say. And as long as they are using that for good, as in this example, I say more power to them.


June 20th, 2012
6:24 pm

How many years has it been since “First!” went out of style? Or is it back in again somehow?


June 20th, 2012
6:26 pm

Hey Gunga DIn, the jerk store called…they’re running out of YOU.

To Woodrow

June 20th, 2012
6:29 pm

When did User become a rapper? Dude has always been an R&B/pop singer. And to my knowledge, musically, he is the type of person someone could look up to.

Peanut butter and Jelly

June 20th, 2012
6:31 pm

It’s amazing how attractive she has become. Very striking appearance. An inspiration for me to lose weight.

Melissa Ruggieri

June 20th, 2012
6:43 pm

PB&J – I was SHOCKED at how little she is. She’s prob a size 2. And yes, she was very striking.

#1 Foxy Lady

June 20th, 2012
8:16 pm

sorry to hear this. i was hoping for sex tape.


June 20th, 2012
8:39 pm


Do you know who Justin Beiber is?? Well Usher discovered Justin and thus has a HUGE chunk of his career in his pocket ($$). Just like Lady Gaga, she’s the reason AKON is no longer a “rapper”. She is under his umbrella ($$$$$$$$$$).. Cha – Ching!!!! Stupid “rappers”. You should get out (from under your rock) more often.


June 20th, 2012
8:50 pm

It’s easy to comment on her appearance and how she has shaped out but from my last memory of her being the annoying teenage brat on that reality show, it’s good to see her mature into a nice young woman.

It’s sad to hear about her brother.

Melissa, if you told me 10 years ago Kelly Osbourne would be speaking at Emory I’d have you committed.


June 20th, 2012
9:27 pm

Kelley seems to be a real sweetheart of a young woman, even on Fashion Police. Wish I could say the same about her self-absorbed, used to being worshiped, mother on The Talk.


June 20th, 2012
9:33 pm

Hope she gets MS too. The whole family is skanky


June 21st, 2012
10:54 am

@weena-You are a miserable P O S.


June 21st, 2012
11:13 am

I agree with MR, as long as kids listen and the message is good – more power to her. I really like Kelly and the fact that she could snowball a career from her parents celebrity is to her credit. She has ambition – many do not and she is willing to give back – most do not. I also enjoy her role on the Fashion Police and thinks she holds her own with Joan Rivers.