What is Bill Ward’s Net Worth?
Bill Ward is an English musician and visual artist who has a net worth of $65 million. Bill Ward is best known for being the original drummer in the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Later, he embarked on a solo career with such albums as “Ward One: Along the Way” and “When the Bough Breaks.” Among his other projects, Ward has been a member of a band called Day of Errors.
Bill Ward first gained attention while playing in the band, Mythology, with Tony Iommi. The two musicians joined Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler to form Black Sabbath in the late 1960s. He played drums on every Black Sabbath album until 1980. He took time away from the group in the early 80s, primarily due to ill health, and did not begin performing with them regularly again until the mid-90s. He rejoined the group for good in 1997, but suffered a heart attack, and had to be replaced at the last minute. He finally returned to full performance status in 1999. When not performing with the group, he hosts a monthly radio show called “Rock 50” from California.
Bill Ward was born on May 5, 1948 in Birmingham, England. Showing an interest in music very early on in his life, he would listen to the big bands of the 40s and play drums as a child. Ward was influenced by such renowned jazz drummers as Louie Bellson and Gene Krupa growing up. He joined his first band in the mid-60s as a drummer for a group called the Rest. Following this, Ward became part of the blues rock band Mythology, which also featured guitarist Tony Iommi. When Mythology disbanded in 1968, Ward and Iommi joined Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler to form a new band.
After experimenting with such band names as the Polka Tulk Blues Band and Earth, Ward, Iommi, Osbourne, and Butler finally settled on the name Black Sabbath for their group. The band’s self-titled debut album came out in 1970, followed by a second album, “Paranoid,” later that same year. Topping the UK Albums Chart, “Paranoid” spawned a number of Black Sabbath’s signature tracks, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and the title song. Next came 1971’s “Master of Reality” and 1972’s “Vol. 4.” Throughout the remainder of the 70s, Black Sabbath released “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” “Sabotage,” “Technical Ecstasy,” and “Never Say Die!,” the lattermost of which was the band’s final studio album featuring its original lineup. After Osbourne was fired in 1979 due to his substance abuse, Black Sabbath recorded “Heaven and Hell” with vocalist Ronnie James Dio. A number of personnel changes followed, with many different vocalists, drummers, and bassists stepping in for stints of various lengths.
Ward reportedly left Black Sabbath in 1980 without announcement; his departure had been preceded by severe bouts of alcohol abuse and panic attacks. He subsequently played with a band called Max Havoc before returning to Black Sabbath to record the 1983 album “Born Again.” Ward then left the band again, but returned in 1984; however, he again left the group shortly after this. Following a handful of brief reunions, Ward made a full return with the original Black Sabbath lineup for two shows in England in late 1997. A live album entitled “Reunion” was produced from these shows, while another live album, “Past Lives,” came out in 2002.
During his years with Black Sabbath, Ward was the subject of frequent pranks by the band that often took dangerous turns. Allegedly, the band would prank him by setting his beard on fire, which in one instance resulted in third-degree burns. In another reckless incident, the band members sprayed gold DuPont paint all over a naked, unconscious Ward following a night of heavy alcohol consumption at a rented mansion in Bel Air. With all of his pores blocked by the paint, Ward became ill and had to be hospitalized after he had a seizure.
Some years after his initial departure from Black Sabbath in the mid-80s, Ward began his solo recording career. He released his debut solo studio album, “Ward One: Along the Way,” in 1990. His next album, “When the Bough Breaks,” came out in 1997. It was another 18 years before Ward released his third solo album, “Accountable Beasts”; however, one of its tracks, “Straws,” had previously been released as a charity single in 2002.
Starting in 2002, Ward has had a monthly internet radio show entitled “Rock 50.” Broadcast from Cerritos College’s WPMD, the show features an array of metal and rock music.
Among his later music projects, Ward joined a band called Day of Errors in 2016. The group also includes guitarist Joe Amodea and vocalist Jason Bragg. Day of Errors has released such albums as “Blaspheming at Creation,” “Dark,” and “Ghost Train.”
Personal Life and Health
Ward has three children: a daughter named Emily and two sons named Nigel and Aron.
Ward has had a number of health struggles over the decades. Beyond his noted alcohol abuse in the 70s and early 80s, he suffered a heart attack in 1998 during tour rehearsals with Black Sabbath. Later, in 2013, he underwent gastrointestinal surgery, and also had an operation on his shoulder. Overall, Ward has reportedly changed his lifestyle drastically since his prime days with Black Sabbath, as he no longer smokes, drinks, does drugs, or consumes animal products.