Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi Receives the Courage Award – 2017 Loudwire Music Awards
The greatest riff master in metal history was revealed to have lymphoma in early 2012, devastating fans around the world. Iommi was given his diagnosis not long after Black Sabbath’s historic 11-11-11 announcement of the band’s reformation. A new album and live shows were planned, but the sudden news of Iommi’s health crisis threatened to halt Sabbath’s comeback after seven years of inactivity.
While fighting lymphoma, Iommi penned and recorded Sabbath’s 13 album, which was released in June 2013. The record became Black Sabbath’s first ever No. 1 album in the U.S. and was certified gold or platinum in six countries. In 2014, Black Sabbath were awarded a Best Metal Performance Grammy for the track “God is Dead?”, which Loudwire named the Best Metal Song of 2013.
Having tested his grit onstage during a handful of festival dates in 2012, Iommi embarked on a world tour with Black Sabbath in 2013 despite being told by doctors that he would likely be battling lymphoma for the rest of his life. When Black Sabbath finally called for “The End” of their touring career, Iommi had performed 167 shows since his initial cancer diagnosis.
In August 2016, metalheads were given the news they had been praying for for three-and-a-half years — Tony Iommi’s lymphoma was in remission. The godfather of heavy metal refused to allow cancer to slow down his passion. Having lived life on his own terms throughout the fight, Iommi was able to declare victory over the disease.
During his introductory speech, Zakk Wylde spoke about cancer coming to rob Tony's house and learning it was the wrong house. Iommi graciously accepted the honor, truly moved by the award, while also joking that he now has three hands after receiving the trophy molded around his own hand.
Today, on Oct. 24, 2017, we had the distinct privilege of giving Tony Iommi the Courage Award, sponsored by Ultimate Classic Rock and cast out of the guitarist’s own hand, live during the 2017 Loudwire Awards ceremony. Congratulations, Tony! You’ll forever be the hero of every metal guitarist to swing an axe.