Rob Halford Of Judas Priest Celebrates Major Sober Milestone

By David Konow 01/09/18

The metal legend took to Facebook to announce his sober anniversary to the fans he affectionately calls "maniacs."

Rob Halford
Photo via Rob’s official Facebook page

Rob Halford of Judas Priest is considered one of the greatest living singers in the genre of heavy metal, and on January 6, he celebrated his sober milestone on Facebook.

Halford posted, “Maniacs, today is my 32nd year of being clean and sober. One day at a time. Each one of you are in my life and your love and support encourages and helps me to live in the moment and try to do my best for you. Thank you all.”

Metal arguably has the most loyal fan base of any music genre; Halford has said in the past that the fans have given him a big incentive to stay sober. As he told the Rock N’ Roll Breakfast Show, “I can’t go out there smashed and drugged. That’s cheating my fans. That’s also part of my daily spiritual ritual—keeping clean and sober for my own well being, but also for my fans and everybody else.”

As he told the Observer, it’s hard to say no to all the party favors that come with being successful, “but when it starts to affect your performance you really have to take stock and really have to say to yourself, ‘If I were to show up to work in any other profession, I’d get the pink slip.’”

Halford had previously suffered an overdose of painkillers, and as he told Classic Rock Revisited, “I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was sick of waking up every morning and feeling like shit. I think I came to an understanding that I wasn’t giving at my full capacity. I wasn’t able to give to my full ability because it was being held in place by booze and drugs.”

When Halford played his first sober gig, “It was one of the most amazing shows I had ever done,” he continues. “It was in New Mexico, in Albuquerque. I literally felt elevated as everything was coming with such clarity. I was able to really listen to, and love, and enjoy the performance of Judas Priest without having all of the other things in front of it. Since that day it has been a miracle.”

Priest has sold over 45 million albums, and their latest recording, Firepower, will be unleashed on March 9.

Halford is all too aware that his career, and life, could have ended a long time ago if he didn’t sober up. He told The Washington Times, “Literally, I would be dead... I love people. I love being in a band. I love making music. I had to figure out that was way more important than being addicted."

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.