Upon joining Black Sabbath in 1979, Ronnie James Dio began using the sign of the horns. The previous singer in the band, Ozzy Osbourne, was rather well known for using the “peace” sign. Dio, not wanting to copy Osbourne, chose to use the sign his grandmother always made.
Gene Simmons of the rock group KISS attempted to claim the “devil horns” hand gesture for his own. According to CBS News, “Simmons filed an application on Friday, June 16, 2017 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark on the hand gesture he regularly uses during concerts and public appearances — thumb, index and pinky fingers extended, with the middle and ring fingers folded down. According to Simmons, this hand gesture was first used in commerce — by him — on Nov. 14, 1974. He is claiming the hand gesture should be trademarked for “entertainment, namely live performances by a musical artist [and] personal appearances by a musical artist.” Simmons abandoned this application on June 21, 2017.