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“I got a bit emotional seeing Ozzy and Iommi onstage together again": Queen's Brian May speaks for all of us after seeing Black Sabbath legends reunite

'Sabbath'
(Image credit: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Queen guitarist Brian May admits that he got "a bit emotional" while watching his old friends, long-time Black Sabbath bandmates Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi, reunited onstage in their hometown of Birmingham on Monday (August 8).

The duo's surprise appearance at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, performing alongside bassist Adam Wakeman (formerly Sabbath's touring keyboardist) and Tommy Clufetos (formerly Sabbath's live drummer) at the city's Alexander Stadium, capped a memorable, celebratory night for Birmingham.

Headlining the spectacular, following performances from fellow local heroes Duran Duran, UB40, The Selecter, Musical Youth, and more, the city's most recognisable musical icons teased their audience with a snippet of Sabbath anthem Iron Man before blowing off the stadium roof, metaphorically speaking, with a crushing run through the deathless Paranoid.

The climactic cameo came as a genuine surprise, given that, just one week earlier, on August 1, after hearing Paranoid used to soundtrack a montage of some of the highlights from the athletics meet, Ozzy took to social media to praise his hometown for its deft handling of the Games, without offering up any hints that he himself would soon be homeward bound.

'This was played at the end of today’s Commonwealth Game, " Ozzy posted. "I really wish I could have been there with you all. Just amazing for Birmingham!."

One week ahead of this, speaking to Classic Rock for a forthcoming magazine feature, the singer had emphatically stated to this writer that Sabbath were finished, saying, "Sabbath are over: we made our mark.”

Hard to argue, there.

Watch Osbourne and Iommi reunite in Birmingham below:

Clearly, we were not the only ones moved by this unexpected show-stealing performance.

Reposting a Tony Iommi post about the night, Queen guitarist Brian May added the caption: "That’s the way to do it !!! Must say I got a bit emotional seeing Ozzy and Iommi on stage together again. Epic !!!"

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As yet, no official comment has been made as to why former Sabbath bassist/ founding member Geezer Butler was not involved in Monday night's performance: although he posted his thoughts on the event's opening ceremony on social media, Butler has yet to reference the Games' closing night.

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Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.