March 6, 2013 / 6:32 PM / 6 years ago

Black Sabbath guitarist pens Armenia's Eurovision song entry

LONDON (Reuters) - Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has written the music for Armenia’s entry to the annual Eurovision Song Contest, bringing a heavy metal pioneer to an event described by the media as a “kitschfest” and “bad taste party”.

Tony Iommi of British heavy metal group 'Heaven and Hell' on stage during concerts in Oslo June 4, 2009. REUTERS/Terje Bendiksby/Scanpix

The musician, a founding member of the influential British band, said the song called “Lonely Planet” was a “demo idea” which was eventually voted Armenia’s Eurovision contender.

It is due to be performed by the Dorians in the semi-finals on May 16 in Malmo, Sweden, Iommi said.

Iommi has connections in Armenia as he was one of several rock stars who helped raise funds after a huge earthquake in 1988 killed 25,000 people and let tens of thousands homeless in the then Soviet Armenia.

He was given an order of honor by Armenia during a visit in 2009 and became involved in another project, to re-build a music school there.

Despite critical derision, Eurovision is watched by a television audience of tens of millions each year, and has helped launch the career of one of the biggest acts of all time, Abba, which won in 1974 with “Waterloo”.

Last year’s Eurovision Song Contest was held in Azerbaijan and won by Swedish act Loreen. The victory means Sweden hosts the competition this year.

Iommi has joined fellow founding members Ozzy Osbourne (vocals) and Geezer Butler (bass) to record Black Sabbath’s first new album in 33 years, 13”, which is due out in June.

Drummer Brad Wilk joined them after original band member Bill Ward pulled out of the reunion recording over a contract dispute.

The band’s plans for a tour in 2012 were scaled back drastically after Iommi was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment for lymphoma.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith

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