Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi reunite for triumphant surprise performance at 2022 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

[L-R] Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne
(Image credit: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi reunited last night for a quick, unannounced set during the closing ceremony of this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The performance – which took place at the Alexander Stadium in Black Sabbath’s hometown of Birmingham, England – saw the pair, joined by bassist Adam Wakeman and drummer Tommy Clufetos, play Paranoid in its entirety and a shortened version of Iron Man, while fireworks blasted into the air.

Decades on, the Sabbath pair remain rebellious disruptors (although this time perhaps not intentionally), as their performance caused a delay to the following programme on BBC One, the channel on which it was broadcast in the UK. 

Ozzy looked in good spirits and health during the performance following a bout of Covid earlier this year, proclaiming during Paranoid: “I love you all Birmingham – [it's] good to be back!” See footage of the surprise two-track set below.

The lineup of the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony was selected to highlight music talent originating in Birmingham. Aside from Ozzy and Iommi, UB40, Duran Duran, Musical Youth and Apache Indian also made appearances.

While Ozzy’s appearance was a surprise, Tony Iommi was booked to appear during the ceremony last month. He played a section of the ceremony without Ozzy, in a piece titled Hear My Voice, alongside saxophonist Soweto Kinch. The piece was based on the title track of the 2020 film Trial of the Chicago 7.

Ozzy Osbourne is set to release his highly anticipated 13th solo album, Patient Number 9, on September 9 via Epic Records. Two singles have been released from the record thus far: its title track with Jeff Beck, and Degradation Rules with Tony Iommi.

The LP will reportedly feature an all-star backing band. No official credits have been released yet, but the group is believed to include Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde, the latter two of whom have played in Ozzy’s backing band in the past.

Ozzy Osbourne

(Image credit: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.