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Black Sabbath were an English rock band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1968 by Ozzy Osbourne (lead vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass), and Bill Ward (drums and percussion). The band has experienced multiple lineup changes, with a total of twenty-two former members. Originally formed as a heavy blues-rock band named Earth, the band began incorporating occult-and horror-inspired lyrics with tuned-down guitars, finally changing their name to Black Sabbath and releasing multiple gold and platinum records in the 1970s. They have sold over fifteen million records in the United States alone.
As one of the first and most influential heavy metal bands of all time, Black Sabbath helped define the genre with releases such as the 1970's quadruple-platinum album, Paranoid. This is just one of their notable achievements. In 2007, Black Sabbath was ranked number one on MTV's "Greatest Metal Bands countdown".