”There’s so many little punk-pop girls out there like the Avril Lavignes and the Ashlee Simpsons,” says Kelly Osbourne, her dark, oversize shades fighting back the South Beach, Fla., sun. ”I don’t want to compete with other girls.” Having put out what she calls a ”crap” punk album last year, Ozzy and Sharon’s 20-year-old daughter of darkness has completely ditched her rock lineage in favor of a new, ’80s-influenced electro sound, showcased on her upcoming Linda Perry-produced album, Sleeping in the Nothing (out June 7). In March, she attended the concurrent M3 and Winter Music Conference, two annual party-all-night electronic music fests in Miami, to promote her synthy single ”One Word” and, as she puts it, ”to learn.” We decided to tag along for her first full night of discovering just how strange and harrowing the dance world can be.
8:15 p.m. Kelly spots Fatboy Slim dining in the lobby of her hotel, The Tides. She gleefully hands him a copy of ”One Word,” which she signs: ”Please play my record, and if you do, you have full permission to sleep with my mother.”
8:30 p.m. We stop in at trendy SoBe restaurant Yuca for a dance radio sausage fest. Kelly shakes hands and poses for photos with dozens of pudgy, middle-aged programmers as a rave-ready remix of Hall & Oates”’Out of Touch” blasts in the background.
9:10 p.m. As we’re leaving, Guy — a clubland ”consultant” Kelly has hired to show her around the club scene — makes a drugstore run. She asks him to pick up some Purell.
9:40 p.m. Hands now sanitized, we arrive at Pure for the Club World Awards, where Kelly is to present the prestigious final award for Best Superclub. After considerable whining, Kelly, hungry and bored with the proceedings, gets her presentation moved up to the second slot.
11:00 p.m. …and the silver disco ball goes to New York’s Crobar. ”Sweet f—ing beans, we can eat!” Kelly proclaims, climbing back into the van. [Kelly dumps me to go back to the hotel for a bite.]
1:35 a.m. We pull up outside club I/O in seedy downtown, where buzzworthy urban acts M.I.A. and Sa-Ra are scheduled to perform. After checking inside, Guy returns. ”It’s hip-hop,” he says. ”F—it,” says Kelly. ”I don’t want to go. I’m so tired.”
1:45 a.m. Kelly catches a 15-minute power nap in the back of the van.
2:45 a.m. Rob Zombie look-alike Tommy Sunshine spins relentless, thumping techno at hipster-packed Rokbar. Kelly finally starts to seem at home in an ocean of jagged haircuts, vintage outfits, and dramatically applied eyeliner. She strikes up a rapport with renowned DJ/producers Felix da Housecat and Junior Sanchez.
3:30 a.m. Rejuvenated, Kelly hits Miami’s Crobar for Fatboy Slim’s set. A thin, brown-skinned waif takes up dancing — rather oddly — in front of Kelly’s table. ”I like it that people are having a good time,” says Kelly, ”but this girl’s a really crap dancer.”