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Tony Iommi says Black Sabbath thought about hiring Michael Bolton

Tony Iommi Michael Bolton

Classic Rock

Tony Iommi says Black Sabbath thought about hiring Michael Bolton

Besides great musicians like Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, Black Sabbath had two amazing vocalists: Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio. Despite this, the band spent years with other vocalists like the also great Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) and, in that period, thought about hiring Michael Bolton.


Bolton, known for his pop rock ballads “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”, was considered for Dio’s spot in 1983. At least that’s what Tony Iommi said in an interview with Gibson.

According to him, the initial idea was to bring David Coverdale, but the former Deep Purple frontman had just founded Whitesnake and therefore Sabbath moved on to other options.

These options included Bolton:

“I met David Coverdale and he said, ‘Oh, I just joined this band, Whitesnake. Why didn’t you come to me earlier? ’I said,‘ He hadn’t left before; is happening now. ’

“So there was a lot of demand for a new singer, and we auditioned with a number of singers – including Michael Bolton, believe it or not. He was one of them, which was strange. It dragged on a little bit, and we couldn’t decide.”

Bolton’s search, however, was not completely meaningless. The singer has a rock background with the band Blackjack (which he describes as being similar to the Bad Company) and even opened Ozzy Osbourne shows in the 1970s.

Interestingly, in 2014, Michael himself denied rumors that he would have auditioned for the Sabbath. He told Echo-News that he did not know “how the hell did this [rumor] start”.

One way or another, Sabbath eventually hired Ian Gillan.

Watch the entire Tony Iommi interview with Gibson TV:

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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