Public Votes to Name Prestigious Sculpture After Ozzy Osbourne in One of His Strangest Achievements Yet
The public has officially voted to name a hulking mechanical bull sculpture that presided over the opening ceremony of last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England after the town's legendary native, Ozzy Osbourne. Of all the things the metal musician has achieved, this is certainly among the most prestigious and, simultaneously, strangest achievements yet.
In 2022, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi performed at the Common Wealth Games opening ceremony. To close out the event, he and Osbourne teamed back up for their first public performance of Sabbath material together since the band's final show in 2017, which also happened to take place in Birmingham, right where the band formed more than 50 years ago.
What Are the Commonwealth Games?
The Games take place every four years with rare exception, first being held in 1930 as a multi-sport event featuring participating athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations (an association of over 50 member states that were predominantly territories of the British Empire).
In other words, it's a very big deal in the U.K. and, thus, quite the honor for Iommi, Osbourne and the Black Sabbath legacy.
Why Was a Bull Sculpture Named After Ozzy?
Osbourne's association with the Commonwealth Games will live on in more than just memory and historical footnotes. The aforementioned mechanical bull sculpture (which BBC reports is 33 feet tall) has apparently received enough votes cast in favor of the Prince of Darkness to win the honor.
At first, the bull was supposed to be disassembled, but the public took issue with that and acquired nearly 10,000 petition signatures to save it with plans to now house it in the atrium of the Birmingham New Street railway station.
Over 28,000 votes were cast and Osbourne beat out other names, such as Bostin, Brummie and Boulton.
Commenting on the honor, Osbourne says in a video shared on social media, "When I was asked last year to close the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, they didn't have to ask me twice. I jumped on the next plane and flew back to England. I was honored to close the Games. And this year I've just been told that they've chosen my name to name the bull, which is going to be in the station, I believe, in Birmingham. I can't believe it, I'm absolutely blown away. Thank you for all your votes. I don't know what to say anymore, I'm just thrilled to bits. God bless you all and Birmingham forever."
What Is the Significance of the Bull to Birmingham?
That's a question Birmingham metal legend has already answered, as Judas Priest featured an inflatable bull onstage on their tour celebrating the band's 50th anniversary.
"Where we're from in Birmingham, it's famous for this bullring, as it was called. And the bulls that used to be sold there as part of trade and commerce and so forth, they're kind of synonymous with that," Priest singer Rob Halford explained in 2021.