William Thomas "Bill" Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band Black Sabbath. An original founding member of the band, Ward also performed as lead vocalist on two Black Sabbath songs; "It's Alright" from the album "Technical Ecstasy" and "Swinging the Chain" from the album "Never Say Die!".
In the mid-1960s Ward sang and played drums in a band called The Rest. Ward and guitarist Tony Iommi played together in a band called Mythology, and upon that band's dissolution joined vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and bassist Geezer Butler, who had played together in a band called Rare Breed. The new band called themselves Earth, soon to be renamed Black Sabbath.
Before the full Black Sabbath reunion, Ward and the original Sabbath had re-united twice for short sets, first for Live Aid in 1985 and then at a Costa Mesa, California Ozzy Osbourne show on 15 November 1992. Sabbath, with Judas Priest singer Rob Halford replacing Ronnie James Dio who had recently left the band, opening the show for Osbourne. The Ozzy Osbourne band (Osbourne, Zakk Wylde, Mike Inez, Randy Castillo and John Sinclair) then did a full set before Osbourne was reunited with Iommi, Butler and Ward for four numbers.
Ward made a brief return to the band for a South American tour in 1994 with Tony Martin fronting, before finally rejoining the band for the two shows at the Birmingham NEC, England on 4 and 5 December 1997, which made up the "Reunion" album. When what was billed as the original line-up reunited for the Ozzfest tour in 1997 Mike Bordin played drums. Ward then had to skip all but the last two band appearances in 1998 while he recovered from a heart attack suffered during the tour rehearsals that May.
In October 2006 news leaked that Ward would be reuniting with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ronnie James Dio for a tour though under the moniker Heaven & Hell. However, Ward later decided not to participate in the tour or continue participation in the band because of musical differences with "a couple of the other bandmembers" and a reported concern about extended touring.
On 11 November 2011, Iommi, Butler, Osbourne, and Ward announced that they were reuniting to record a new album with producer Rick Rubin and to start touring in 2012. In February 2012, however, Ward left before work commenced on 13, the first studio recording to include original band members Iommi, Osbourne and Butler since the live album "Reunion" (1998), which contained two new studio tracks. Ward said that he had failed to reach an agreement regarding his contract.
In August 2013, Ward revealed that he would soon be heading into the studios to finish mixing his third solo album, to be titled "Accountable Beasts". He also expressed a desire to tour behind the album once it is released, provided that sales are acceptable. However a month later he needed surgery on his shoulder and was unable to play drums again until May 2014.
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