January 27, 2024

JUDAS PRIEST's Rob Halford says that legendary BLACK SABBATH frontman Ozzy Osbourne should be knighted for his contributions to the music industry.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Halford said: "If one person deserves a knighthood, it's Ozzy Osbourne. Just for the joy he's given people over the years."

A year ago, it was reported that the U.K. government confirmed that Ozzy was under consideration for a knighthood after thousands of people signed a petition aimed at getting the singer the accolade. In addition, several of Birmingham's MPs called for Ozzy to be knighted.

In January 2023, the petition organizer received a letter from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport about her quest to get the SABBATH frontman the prestigious award. The letter said: "As you aware Mr Osbourne has been under consideration for an honour for a while. Unfortunately to date he has been unsuccessful. As I am sure you will appreciate there is extremely fierce competition for the very limited number of awards available.

"The fact that Mr Osbourne is not recognised by an honour does not mean that his contribution is not appreciated. With some 1,000 awards available in each round, and perhaps seix or seven times, unfortunately it is not possible for every candidate, however valuable their service, to succeed.

"However I can confirm this case remains under consideration at this time. However, we can unfortunately give no guarantee as to the eventual outcome or timescale."

King Charles III's New Year Honours list recognizes the exceptional achievements of people across the United Kingdom and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion. The list is released annually by the government's Cabinet Office in the name of the British monarch.

In March 2023, QUEEN guitarist Brian May was officially knighted by King Charles III. May was recognized for his half-century of memorable musical compositions and inspiring efforts in the arena of animal rights against fox hunting and badger culling.

Last August, Halford picked BLACK SABBATH's classic 1970 self-titled debut album as one of the albums he'd be willing to listen to in perpetuity if he found himself stranded and alone on an island. He said: "I would have to go with BLACK SABBATH, the original 'Black Sabbath' album that I think is the motivator for all great things in heavy metal."

Back in 2020, Halford broke down his top 10 favorite albums in an interview with Rolling Stone and explained how they helped make him who he is. Among the records included on the list was BLACK SABBATH's debut. At the time, Halford said about his choice: "They were local guys from the same neighborhood, the same neck of the woods as PRIEST. We literally grew up together, inventing this great music that we love and cherish so much called heavy-metal music.

"I chose the 'Black Sabbath' album just because, like so many bands, your first one or two records really establish who you are as a band," he explained. "It's a bit like PRIEST with 'Rocka Rolla' and 'Sad Wings Of Destiny'; 'Sad Wings Of Destiny' becomes the one we love so much because it becomes defining. With 'Black Sabbath', here was the first example of what heavy-metal music should sound like, just the texture, the tone, the structure of all of the material, Ozzy's very unique voice. It's just become a very important record in the discography of BLACK SABBATH."

Halford joined SABBATH for two gigs to support Ozzy Osbourne on his last shows for the "No More Tours" tour in November 1992 in Costa Mesa, California after SABBATH's singer at the time, Ronnie James Dio, refused to take the stage. Rob also performed with SABBATH members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward on August 26, 2004 at the Camden, New Jersey stop of Ozzfest after Ozzy came down with an "attack of bronchitis" and was unable to take part in the concert.

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