The “Godfather of Heavy Metal,” Ozzy Osbourne, is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. In the 1970s, Osbourne found recognition as the famous heavy metal band Black Sabbath’s main singer. His distinct singing voice and ominous, eerie lyrics inspired a generation of artists and helped define the genre.
One cannot overestimate Osbourne’s impact on the heavy metal scene. He contributed to the development of a sound and aesthetic that several bands have since adopted, and his influence is still felt today. Ozzy Osbourne made his mark on heavy metal from his early days with Black Sabbath to his current position as one of the genre’s elder statesmen. He also served as an inspiration for future generations of performers.
The early 1970s saw an increase in the popularity of the music genre, while Judas Priest, another band from the same area, was developing its own style and becoming increasingly heavy during this time.
Ozzy was aware of the developing era and loved most of the things that came out after him. While talking with Rolling Stone Magazine in 2017 he talked about Judas Priest. he said, “What can I say, the guys in Judas Priest are not only mates of mine from my hometown of Birmingham, but one of the best metal bands of all time. This album had ‘Living After Midnight,’ ‘Breaking the Law’ and ‘Metal Gods.’ British Steel is a classic that will definitely stand the test of time.”
In an interview for the special video that was shown prior to Judas Priest’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, the Black Sabbath vocalist even paid tribute to Rob Halford. He said, “He (Rob Halford) can still hit the f***** notes which is mind-blowing to me. He is one of my favorite f***** singers.”
Over the years, Rob Halford has played live shows with Black Sabbath in place of Dio and Ozzy. When Black Sabbath agreed to be Ozzy Osbourne’s opening act on his farewell tour in 1992, Rob Halford of Judas Priest was already singing for the band at that time. The band phoned Halford because its current frontman Ronnie James Dio declined to perform since, in his eyes, Black Sabbath was better than Ozzy and they shouldn’t have agreed to open for him.
Rob talked about Black Sabbath in 2020 in his interview with Chris Jericho. He revealed, “I’ve said many, many times, love of my life is Priest, but there is Sabbath. So that first time, we did have a little bit of preparation – because Tony [Iommi, guitar] called me in advance. We talked about the setlist. Then the guys came through Phoenix on their way to California, and we had one rehearsal.”
“I learned the songs, which I already knew. I know all the Sabbath songs. Then like a day or two later, we had those two shows and that was just so surreal. I think I told a funny story about getting lost on-stage before the show starts. That’s in the book.”
“We all got dressed, you know. I walked out with Tony to the left side of the stage. Then the lights get down, the fans start screaming. And then the intro tape starts. (So) I go, ‘Tony, when are walking on?’ – and he’s gone.”