Happy Birthday today (Feb. 19) to Black Sabbath founder and lead guitarist Tony Iommi. He’s 70. Other rockers celebrating include Queensryche singer Todd La Torre (44), former Scorpions bassist Francis Bucholz (64), and former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich (54).

Tony Iommi is the lead guitarist and founder of Black Sabbath. He is the primary composer and sole continual member of the band. Black Sabbath recorded their self-titled debut album in 1969 and it was released in February of 1970. His first solo album Iommi was released in 2000 and it featured the song “Goodbye Lament” with special guest Dave Grohl. His second solo album Fused was released in 2005. He formed Heaven & Hell in 2006. The band featured Iommi along with felloe Black Sabbath founding member Geezer Butler, and former Sabbath members Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice. Heavan & Hell disbanded after Dio’s passing in 2010. Iommi has been battling health issues in recent years after a lymphoma diagnosis in 2012. Black Sabbath released their last studio album 13 in 2013. In 2015, the band announced that they would embark final tour The End starting in January 2016. I was very fortunate to catch Tony Iommi with Black Sabbath on their farewell tour last summer at Mohegan Sun in CT. It was an incredible show. Check out a review of the show from The Metal Box here.

Iommi is known as "The Godfather of Metal" and considered one of the world’s most influential rock guitarists. He ranked No. 25 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Check out the the top 10 Tony Iommi guitar solos courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock here. Cheers to "The Riff Master" Tony Iommi on his 70th birthday today!
Tigman with singer Todd La Torre of Queensryche/The Rutigliano Archives
Francis Bucholz/Youtube
Kellie Warren/Getty Images