The Least Popular Member Of Black Sabbath Might Surprise You

February 13, 1970, is a date that holds special significance to heavy metal fans — that was when Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album was released in their native U.K., effectively introducing listeners to a darker, heavier brand of rock music than ever before. Of course, it wasn't widely known as heavy metal back then, but the genre owes a tremendous debt to the four lads from Birmingham — Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward — who made up the original lineup of Black Sabbath and influenced countless acts in the process. We can also credit the many other individuals who recorded and performed with Sabbath until their 2017 disbandment, but it was those four who put the wheels in motion by recording the majority of the band's all-time classic tracks.

Although there's no questioning how influential Black Sabbath has been, there's oftentimes one member of an iconic band that people don't exactly like, at least compared to their bandmates. And since we've recently asked our readers to name the least popular members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and other rock legends, we did the same for Sabbath and asked the same question to 600 respondents, keeping things simple and limiting the choices to the band's four founding members. After tallying the results, it was quite a shock to find out who came in at No. 1 in this new survey.

Believe it or not, Ozzy Osbourne is the least popular Sabbath member

Yes, we know. It's rather unusual that the lead vocalist of the band in question — and the most visible member of that band, by far — is also the least liked. But more than a third of the people we surveyed (33.67%, to be exact) named Ozzy Osbourne as the least popular original member of Black Sabbath. Bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward tied for second place with a 25.50% share, while guitarist Tony Iommi came in last with only 15.33% of the vote. So why is the Prince of Darkness so unpopular among Sabbath fans?

Looking at comments from Reddit users, it appears that many fans feel that Osbourne is only average at best on vocals. One longtime fan wrote that Ozzy isn't much of a frontman either in terms of his charisma or stage presence. "I've seen him with Sabbath and solo, in the 70's, 80's and 90's and all he really does is walk around and clap his hands like he has brain damage," the Redditor observed.

There's also the perception that Ozzy — the same Ozzy who bit off the head of a bat onstage — may have sold out by becoming a reality TV superstar on "The Osbournes." As opined by Metal Central Music, such a move "took away from the mystique he had built over the years," though on the other hand, appearing on his own TV show with the rest of his family allowed people to see Osbourne in a less serious, albeit more relatable light.