Belfast Telegraph

Fathers of heavy metal Black Sabbath to play Belfast

Original line-up with Ozzy, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler

By Maureen Coleman

The inimitable Ozzy Osbourne and his legendary rock band Black Sabbath are bound for Belfast later this year.

The heavy metal pioneers will play the Odyssey Arena on Thursday, December 12, as part of their upcoming UK tour.

Formed in 1969, Black Sabbath will kick off the tour at London's O2 Arena on December 10, before taking in Belfast, Sheffield, Glasgow and Manchester, followed by a homecoming show at Birmingham's LG Arena on December 20.

The dates will support Black Sabbath's brand new album '13', which will be released this June. '13' is the first album Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler have recorded together since 1978's 'Never Say Die!'. The rockers made the album primarily in Los Angeles with renowned producer Rick Rubin and it features Rage Against The Machine's Brad Wilk on drums, replacing Bill Ward.

The Odyssey show marks Black Sabbath's Belfast debut, although frontman Ozzy Osbourne played several shows here during his successful solo career.

In 1986, when Osbourne performed at the Avoniel Leisure Centre, the gig was picketed by members of the Free Presbyterian church, because of the band's occult-themed songs. The Grammy award-winning singer and song-writer also earned himself the nickname The Prince of Darkness, because of his distinctive vocals and Black Sabbath's style.

In the early 2000s, the rocker became a star in his own reality show The Osbournes, along his wife Sharon, a former X Factor judge and two of their three children, Kelly and Jack. A documentary about his life and career, God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, premiered in April 2011 at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released on DVD in November 2011.

In December 2003, Osbourne was seriously injured in a quad bike accident on his Buckinghamshire estate. While in hospital, he achieved his first ever UK number one single, a duet of the Black Sabbath ballad, "Changes" with daughter Kelly.

Black Sabbath's reunion tour and new album was announced at a press conference on November 11, 2011. Demand for tickets for the tour is expected to be huge.

The group - ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band' of all time - was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tickets will go on general sale at 9am on Friday, April 12 from Ticketmaster and the Odyssey Arena box office.

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