Members of the British Parliament have petitioned Queen Elizabeth II to officially recognize Black Sabbath’s contribution to the world of music as pioneers of heavy metal.
The letter, signed by a number of MPs, including Khalid Mahmood, leader of Birmingham City Council, Ian Ward, and the deputy leader, Councillor Brigid Jones, states that the reason for the request was the performance of Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi at the closing ceremony of the recent Commonwealth Games in Black Sabbath’s hometown of Birmingham. The letter says:
Please forgive the direct nature of this letter. We, the undersigned humble subjects, humbly ask you to bestow an honour on the Black Sabbath rock group, who were formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.
They are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971).
Following the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, which took place in my Birmingham Perry Barr constituency, I have been inundated with requests that Black Sabbath be recognised for its services to music and to the City of Birmingham. For all their global fame, they have kept strong links with Birmingham, demonstrated by their barnstorming surprise performance at the closing ceremony of Commonwealth Games, which was closed by His Royal Highness Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex.
I appreciate this request is not within the normal procedures of seeking Royal honours, however, we feel that this extraordinary occasion deserves extraordinary recognition of this extraordinary group of musicians. The band’s services to music seem to have been overlooked by the usual process.
We therefore seek direct intervention and support from Your Majesty to recognise the great contribution made by these fine and ground-breaking musicians, who were made in Birmingham and who have once again not just entertained Birmingham, the United Kingdom and the whole of the Commonwealth but perhaps the world.
The request came less than a week after guitarist Tony Iommi and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne unexpectedly appeared together at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which is their hometown.
The original Black Sabbath line-up came together in 1969 with Iommi, Osborne, Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums. This line-up recorded and toured until 1978, and periodically reformed in the 90s and 2000s for concert work.
Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Tony Iommi teamed up to perform the band’s classic song “Paranoid” on August 8, at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Black Sabbath drummer Tommy Clufetos and Black Sabbath musician Adam Wakeman also joined the duo.