[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Judas Priest to reform
Rob Halford
Halford was born in Walsall lin 1951

Rock group Judas Priest is to reform with original lead singer Rob Halford for the band's 30th anniversary next year.

Halford left the metal band in the early 90s in a bitter split but will rejoin the group for a new album and world tour in 2004.

Guitarist Glenn Tipton said they all agreed the time was right for Halford to return.

"Everything just seems to have locked into place, and we just felt like we wanted to do it now, and maybe if we don't do it now, we never will," he told Billboard.com.

Rumours of a reunion have been circulating for a few years but Tipton says they only decided to do it last week.

"Obviously when we split there was a lot of animosity and we didn't speak for a number of years. I saw him for the first time two years ago, and it was very emotional," he said.

"Anything that was said or done was all forgotten," he added.

The band are looking forward to writing some new material in September.


"Rob is a great lyricist. And it's the old team back together, it's the three of us writing and it's exciting because that is the team that's written Priest classics for the last 30 years," said Tipton.

The new line-up means that Halford's replacement, Tim "Ripper" Owens, is leaving the band.

Owens previously fronted Judas Priest tribute band British Steel and has been the lead singer with his favourite group since 1996.

His rock fan's dream-come-true story inspired the 2001 film Rock Star, starring Jennifer Aniston and Mark Wahlberg.

Owens departure from the band is an amicable one, said Tipton.

"He's been fantastic, " said Tipton. "We told him last week, and he's been a real gentleman about it."

Halford's last album made with the band was Painkiller in 1990. He went on to form various rock outfits, including Fight, Two and Halford.

Judas Priest first formed in Birmingham in the early 70s.

After major tours with both Kiss and AC/DC, the band's fortunes took off. Album British Steel made the UK Top 5, and included the Top 20 singles Breaking The Law and Living After Midnight.

Other successful albums include Point of Entry and Defenders of the Faith.

The band made two studio albums with Owens, 1997's Jugulator and 2001's Demolition.

Roskilde rocks with raw metal
07 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
The Darkness light up rock scene
07 Jul 03  |  Entertainment
Newborn baby taken to rock concert
24 Jun 03  |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific