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Rumor: Bill Ward Fired from Black Sabbath?

Update: Sharon Osbourne has posted the following message on her Facebook account: "I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath. I don't manage the band, I manage my husband." The original story follows.

The drama surrounding Bill Ward's relationship with Black Sabbath is still heating up, and according to MetalTalk.net, Sabbath's original drummer has been fired by Sharon Osbourne.

The website cites a "reliable source" who told them Ward was sacked from the band, and would be replaced with Ozzy Osbourne's solo drummer, Tommy Clufetos, in the meantime.

This all stems from a long message Ward posted on his website last week, letting fans in on the fact that he may quit the band unless a "fair contract" is drawn up that he feels recognizes his contributions as a founding member of the band.

Sabbath posted a response the next day, saying, "We were saddened to hear yesterday via Facebook that Bill declined publicly to participate in our current Black Sabbath plans...we have no choice but to continue recording without him although our door is always open... We are still in the UK with Tony. Writing and recording the new album and on a roll... See you at Download!"

We'll keep you posted as the facts surface.

If you want to throw your support behind Ward, there's a new Facebook group called "1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward" that you can check out here.

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Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.