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Black Sabbath Cancel Shows As Tony Iommi Continues Cancer Battle

February 19th, 2012 11:00am EST

Tony IommiThe reunited members of Black Sabbath have cancelled a number of upcoming shows as guitarist Tony Iommi continues his cancer battle.

The rocker, who turns 64 on Sunday, was diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells, just weeks after the band announced plans for shows and a new album in 2012.

Iommi refused to let the diagnosis halt the reunion plans, and started work on the group's comeback album, but the band has now postponed several forthcoming shows to allow him time to overcome his health battle.

Instead, Ozzy Osbourne will take to the stage in concerts billed as 'Ozzy & Friends'.

A post on the band's Facebook.com page reads, "Black Sabbath have had to put some plans on hold due to Tony Iommi's battle with lymphoma. At this time, Black Sabbath will perform only one show of this summer's previously scheduled European tour. It will take place Sunday, June 10 at the U.K.'s Download Festival.

"So as not to let the promoters and fans down, Ozzy Osbourne will now perform the majority of the previously scheduled Black Sabbath dates (both festival performances and the headlining shows) billed as Ozzy & Friends.

"These first ever Ozzy & Friends shows will feature appearances by special guest musicians including Geezer Butler (who will join Ozzy for a special Black Sabbath set as a show of respect and support to their friend, Tony Iommi) and longtime former Ozzy band member Zakk Wylde. In addition, Ozzy will be accompanied by longtime collaborator and friend Slash at select shows, with other special guests set to join the tour at various stops along the way.

"Tony Iommi continues to make excellent progress and is looking forward to getting back out on the road. Meanwhile, Black Sabbath continue to write and record music in the U.K. for their upcoming album."

 

Tony Iommi

 

Photo Credits: Landmark / PR Photos