Watch Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Phil Collins serenade the Queen with Black Sabbath’s Paranoid in 2002

Ozzy Osbourne onstage in 2002, next to a picture of Queen Elizabeth II
(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

In the summer of 2002, Queen Elizabeth II was celebrating 50 years since her ascent to the British throne, and it was a summer strewn with all kinds of batshit celebrations. Tower Bridge was illuminated to look gold, while 200 towns up and down the country played the BeatlesAll You Need Is Love at the same time, for some reason. Most random of all, though, was The Prince Of Darkness getting summoned by royal appointment to perform Black Sabbath’s Paranoid at Buckingham Palace.

Ozzy Osbourne played for the Royal Family as part of the Party At The Palace mini-festival on June 3, 2002. Other performers across the day included your expected UK pop figureheads, from Annie Lennox to Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton and Paul McCartney, making the bat-biting and potty-mouthed Double O a major outlier. And boy did he know it.

“When I went into the Palace for that fucking thing, there were signs saying: ‘No foul language,’ ‘No abusive terms,’ ‘No chasing the wild animals.’ I’m thinking, I’m sure this ain’t for anybody else,” Ozzy told Classic Rock in 2008. “‘Don’t chase the animals.’ ‘Don’t throw anything in the lake’… unless you’ve got a brick tied to your neck,” he joked.

Fortunately, the frontman didn’t go to the Queen’s house alone. For Paranoid, Ozzy was flanked by his longtime guitarist Tony Iommi, the pair having recently reunited under the Black Sabbath banner in 1997. Their performance was rounded out by the concert’s house band, which just so happened to include Genesis legend Phil Collins on the drums. As a result, three bona fide legends of UK rock ended up smashing out Sabbath’s signature song in front of the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles and the rest.

Watch footage of Ozzy, Tony and Phil’s impressive and history-making Paranoid performance via the video player below.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.