Ozzy Osbourne hails Birmingham roots as city celebrates Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne has spoken of his pride in Birmingham as the city celebrates Black Sabbath and the birth of heavy metal.

The singer emerged from Aston to become a celebrated rock star, forging a new musical genre as part of the internationally acclaimed band in the 1970s.

Osbourne said he has never tried to escape his Birmingham roots, and is proud of his place in the artistic history of the second city.

Black Sabbath
The classic line-up of Black Sabbath: Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi (Ian West/PA)

He urged fans to follow their own dreams and spoke of his pride in his musical achievements.

Black Sabbath, whose hit singles include Paranoid and Never Say Die, will be celebrated in Birmingham during a series of exhibitions featuring personal possessions from members of the Black Country band.

The retrospective, Home Of Metal: Black Sabbath – 50 Years will explore the musical innovation of Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.

Former Black Sabbath frontman Osbourne has spoken of his relationship with Birmingham, which gave the world heavy metal.

He said: “Well, whatever people think about me – and I don’t get the chance to go and see Birmingham very often – I’ve never ever tried to hide my accent, and I’ve never denied that I’m from Birmingham.

“I’m absolutely so proud with what I’ve done with my life, it’s unbelievable. Just hold on to your dreams, because you know what? Every once in a while they come true.”

He added: “It’s an honour to be a part of the Home Of Metal. I am just a guy from Birmingham who’s been blessed to have had such dedicated fans throughout my career.”

The new exhibition in his home city offers aficionados a glimpse of rare personal items owned by the band, including fans’ gifts, photographs and jewellery.

These will be displayed alongside band memorabilia dating back to the 1970s.

Formed in 1968, the band developed a new, heavier sound and aesthetic from rock ‘n’ roll’s roots, with visual and lyrical cues taken from the occult.

Home Of Metal will showcase the band’s history, links to their home city and British music, and their bond with fans.

Iommi said: “Fans are our lifeblood, they’ve always been there to support us.”

Butler added: “I’ve always maintained that Sabbath fans are the most loyal and honest and most independently minded of all. I thank each and everyone of them for their incredible support over the years.”

Home Of Metal: Black Sabbath – 50 Years, will open at Birmingham Museum And Art Gallery from June 26-29.

Aside from this main exhibition, there will be five other, smaller-scale shows. These are:

– Alan Kane: 4 Bed Detached Home of Metal at The New Art Gallery Walsall, June to September 1.

– All This Mayhem at the Midlands Art Centre, June 22 to September 8.

– Hand of Doom at the Midlands Art Centre, June 8 to September 1.

– Monster Chetwynd: Hell Mouth 3 at Eastside Projects, May 18 to July 27.

– Przemek Branas at Centrala, Birmingham, June 22 to August 11.

Tickets go on sale from Friday.