Robert John Arthur Halford (born 25 August 1951) is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, which was formed in 1969 and has received accolades such as the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
He is known for his powerful, wide-ranging voice and trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which have become iconic in heavy metal.
|25 August 1951
In 1998, Halford publicly revealed his homosexuality on MTV. He broke down in tears saying, “It’s a wonderful moment when you walk out of the closet. Now I’ve done that and I’ve freed myself. It’s a great feeling for me to finally let go and make this statement—especially to The Advocate, because this magazine has brought me so much comfort over the years. Obviously this is just a wonderful day for me.“ Halford later explained that he did not have a plan or an agenda when coming in to do his interview with MTV. He mainly spoke about and promoted the Voyeurs album he made with ex-Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5, when he slipped out his sexuality after being asked a question from the studio’s producer. He cited it being “kind of a big leap forward.”
In the Behind the Music documentary series, Halford said that hiding his sexuality during Judas Priest’s career caused him a lot of depression and isolation which led to his alcohol and drug abuse.
During the making of the band’s 1986 album Turbo, Halford struggled with increasing substance abuse and violent feuds with his romantic partner. The singer entered rehab in January 1986 following a painkiller overdose and even managed to stay sober after his partner committed suicide.