MPs call on the Queen to recognise Black Sabbath’s “great contribution” to music

MPs are calling on the Queen to recognise Black Sabbath’s “great contribution” to British music and beyond in an open letter.

The plea comes after band members Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi performed at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in their hometown of Birmingham earlier this month (August 8).

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Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, shared the letter to the monarch on Twitter last week (August 11), writing in the tweet: “I am humbly requesting Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II @RoyalFamily to bestow and honour to @BlackSabbath for their services to music.”


The letter, which was signed by six other MPs and the leader and deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, read: “Please forgive the direct nature of this letter. We, the undersigned humble subjects, humbly ask you to bestow an honour on the Black Sabbath rock group, who were formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne.”

It noted that the band are “often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music” and “helped define the genre” with their self-titled album, ‘Paranoid’, and ‘Master Of Reality’.

“Following the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, which took place in my Birmingham Perry Barr constituency, I have been inundated with requests that Black Sabbath be recognised for its services to music and to the City of Birmingham,” Mahmood wrote.

He continued: “I appreciate this request is not within the normal procedures of seeking Royal honours, however, we feel that this extraordinary occasion deserves extraordinary recognition of this extraordinary group of musicians. The band’s services to music seem to have been overlooked by the usual process.

“We therefore seek direct intervention and support from Your Majesty to recognise the great contribution made by these fine and ground-breaking musicians, who were made in Birmingham and who have once again not just entertained Birmingham, the United Kingdom and the whole of the Commonwealth, but perhaps the world.”


Mahmood has also launched an online petition to raise support for the motion suggested in the letter. You can view the petition here.

Osbourne, Iommi, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Adam Wakeman performed Black Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony. “I love you, Birmingham – it’s good be back!” Osbourne declared at the end of their appearance.

The frontman later took to Instagram to share a clip of the performance, captioning it: “What a way to bring it all to an end! Thank you, Birmingham. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”