Michael Bolton Once Auditioned for Black Sabbath

It’s hard to envision soft rock superstar Michael Bolton singing for heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath, but according to a recent interview with Tony Iommi, it nearly happened.

In a chat with Gibson TV, Iommi confirmed the long-standing rumor that the “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Can We Be Lovers?” crooner auditioned for Sabbath after Ronnie James Dio left the band in 1982, despite Bolton himself previously denying it ever took place. “So, there was a lot of looking for another singer, and we auditioned various singers — including Michael Bolton, believe it or not,” Tony explained. “He was one of them, which was an odd one.” Bolton has a little-known history with heavier music, having sung in the hard rock band Blackjack before launching his successful solo career.

Iommi also revealed that he gave Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale a call for the gig. “I phoned David Coverdale up, and he said, ‘Oh, I just got this band together, Whitesnake. Why didn’t you phone me before?’ I said, ‘Because [Dio] hadn’t left before; it’s happened now.’”

Sabbath eventually settled on Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan, of course, but it’s fun to imagine a history in which Bolton sang for Sabbath. Or maybe we don’t need to imagine… someone get DJ Cummerbund on the case!

You can watch the full interview with Iommi below, with the pertinent conversation taking place around the 46:00 mark.

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