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Ozzy Osbourne makes surprise appearance at Commonwealth Games closing ceremony

commonwealth games closing ceremony
Ozzy Osbourne performs during the closing ceremony

Rock hero Ozzy Osbourne made a surprise appearance onstage in his home city of Birmingham to close out the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The Aston-born musician, 73, was joined by members of his band Black Sabbath, including guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Adam Wakeman for the explosive performance.

Fireworks were set off and crowds cheered as they launched into their hit song Paranoid.

“Come on, let’s go crazy,” Osbourne told crowds, as the band played the famous chords to Iron Man.

Wrapping up the short performance, he added: “Thank you, good night, you are the best, God bless you all – Birmingham forever.”

Earlier in the ceremony, notorious fictional crime gang the Peaky Blinders took centre stage as part of a celebration of the musical heritage of the West Midlands.

The international competition came to an end on Monday night after 11 days of sporting action.

The ceremony, held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, saw performances from artists including UB40, Beverley Knight, Dexys Midnight Runners, Goldie, The Selecter and Jorja Smith.

Mercury Prize-nominee Laura Mvula, 36, also gave a special performance of a newly commissioned track inspired by Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, the theme song to Peaky Blinders.

The track featured a sequence from the much-anticipated theatre show Peaky Blinders: The Redemption Of Thomas Shelby.

Written and adapted for the stage by the show’s creator Steven Knight, the production will receive its world premiere at Birmingham Hippodrome on September 27 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

Ahead of the event Mvulva described her performance as “sexy and dark but joyous,” and telling the PA news agency she felt “chuffed” for Birmingham.

“Generally, especially amongst other parts of the UK I have been to, Birmingham has tended to get a bad rep,” she said.

“It’s the second city. It’s not London. That’s all we know of it – and the accent.

“But what I love about Peaky Blinders, that I’ll be tributing in my performance tonight, is that they have made the Birmingham accent golden again.

“It’s something that I’m proud of and I embrace more. I love it now when people go, ‘Are you from Birmingham? I can hear it in your accent’, because it’s part of my heritage.”

2022 has seen the most successful Commonwealth Games ever for the home nations, with a combined total of 275 medals, including 85 golds.

England led the way with 57 golds, behind only Australia in the medal table, and 176 in total, while Northern Ireland set national records and Scotland and Wales also thrived.

The Duke of Wessex officially closed the ceremony, saying: “Every four years, we endeavour to come together to celebrate our Commonwealth through sport.

“Thanks to the manner, style and enthusiasm with which you have competed, officiated, supported, organised and volunteered, you have, once again, brought the spirit and values of the Commonwealth to life.

“You have inspired us and hopefully future generations. You have also demonstrated what unites us. Thank you, Birmingham.”

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