Rock veteran Ozzy Osbourne has defended his decision to give JADA PINKETT-SMITH's band WICKED WISDOM a place on the Ozzfest tour - insisting he was "blown away" by the group.

The BLACK SABBATH star enraged metal fans with his decision, and he admits he was initially unsure whether the R+B outfit would be suitable for the upcoming UK rock festival.

But he and his music mogul spouse SHARON were so impressed when they heard the group, headed by Will Smith's wife, they were determined to include them in the line-up, alongside rockers such as Iron Maiden and Velvet Revolver.

He says, "I wasn't sure what to expect when I went to see Wicked Wisdom play.

"But let me tell you, I was blown away. When you see and hear Jada with her band it's apparent that she has nothing but love and respect for this genre of music.

"I totally respect that the band wants to pay their dues playing the second stage on Ozzfest."

08/06/2005 17:31