Sharon Osbourne denies firing Bill Ward from Black Sabbath

Ozzy Osbourne also gives an update on Tony Iommi's progress in his fight against cancer

Sharon Osbourne has denied that she asked for Black Sabbath to fire drummer Bill Ward.

Ward, who is part of the iconic band’s original line-up, said he would pull out of this summer’s planned reunion shows and recording sessions for a new album unless he was presented with a “signable contract”, with the band then vowing to carry on without him.

Osbourne, who is manager of her husband Ozzy Osbourne, but not of Black Sabbath, has spoken out on Twitter in response to online reports that she had ordered the band to remove Ward as part of the contract dispute.

She wrote on

I am not in any position to hire or fire anyone in Black Sabbath. I don’t manage the band, I manage my husband.

Ozzy Osbourne has also given an update on Tony Iommi’s progress in his battle against cancer. The guitarist was recently diagnosed with lymphoma, causing the band to move their recording sessions from Los Angeles to the UK, where the guitarist is receiving treatment.

Speaking to The Boneyard, the radio station he sponsors, Ozzy said of Iommi: “He’s going to beat it. What it’s down to is determination and believe me, this guy’s got more determination than anybody I’ve ever met. It’s going to be fine. It’s just one of those trials in life that happen.”

He continued: “When the bombshell hit about Tony’s cancer problem, I came to England. It would’ve been pretty bad if I would’ve stayed in L.A. He’s got so much support, not only from each one of us in the band, but the fan base; it’s unbelievable. It’s one of them problems you have in life. He isn’t going to die, I’m telling you. I told him if he dies, I’m going to kill him.”

Black Sabbath will headline this summer’s Download festival and undertake a full European tour.