A quarter century after joining Judas Priest, singer Rob Halford publicly revealed his sexuality to The Advocate in 1998. Now, 20-plus years after disclosing that he is gay, the Metal God says, “A straight man can’t do my job.”
In a new interview with the Edmonton Journal, Halford was asked if was concerned he’d lose his fan base when he “came out of the closet 20 years ago”, to which he responded, “Oh yeah, absolutely, I was surrounded by homophobia, which still exists today. There are places I can’t go back to because I’ll be stoned to death. As far as that whole business, I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you’re living your life for everyone else, but not yourself. During the ’70s and ’80s it was incredibly difficult.”
He added, “I love Priest more than anything, so while always in my mind — I have to be careful how I say this — it’s not important to the music. Though I will say, a straight man can’t do my job [laughs]. That’s the way I view it. Freddie [Mercury] said it wasn’t important, but if Freddie hadn’t have been gay, Queen would’ve been a totally different band. But that’s a really important part of my life that I have to get down on paper at some point.”
In the same interview, Halford was asked if there’s any artist he’d like to do a duet with. “Elton John! In a heartbeat,” he answered.
Judas Priest are in the midst of a North American tour that runs through June 29th in Las Vegas. The trek hit a snag earlier this week when Halford’s bout with bronchitis forced the band to cancel their June 5th show in Colorado Springs, but they’re back on track to resume the tour tomorrow night in Saskatoon, Canada.