Judas Priest frontman, Rob Halford, has received an honor from the Commonwealth Of Kentucky, given the title “Kentucky Colonel”. The commission of Kentucky Colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky. It is recognition of an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to our community, state, and nation.
Says Halford, “Thank you governor and the people’s of Kentucky a great honour and organisation that’s making good things happen.”
Judas Priest will finally get the opportunity to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year with the launch of a North American tour this fall. The 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour will also feature Sabaton as openers and is being fuelled by the highest charting album of Priest’s career, Firepower, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200.
Produced by Live Nation, the North American tour – which will run throughout September (kicking off on September 8 in Reading, PA) and November (concluding on November 5 in Hamilton, Ontario), will feature a variety of special effects, which will undoubtedly enhance the might of Priest’s metal.
Tickets for the newly announced dates will go on sale beginning this Friday, June 11 at 10 AM, local time, here. Tickets for the previously announced tour dates are available now.
“Defending the heavy metal faith for fifty years, the Priest is back!” – Rob Halford
“Time to don the leather and studs and roll out the Priest Machine – celebrating our 50 Heavy Metal Years!!” – Glenn Tipton
“After the horrific year of restrictions we’ve all had to endure, what better place to break free, than the land of the free – the USA!” – Ian Hill
Judas Priest originally formed in 1970 in Birmingham, England (an area that many feel birthed heavy metal). The original nucleus of musicians would go on to change the face of heavy metal. Throughout the 70’s Priest were responsible for helping trail blaze metal with such classic offerings as Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976) Sin After Sin (1977) and Hell Bent For Leather (1978) as well as one of the genre’s top live recordings Unleashed In The East (1979) among others.
It was during the 80’s that Priest conquered the world, becoming a global arena headliner on the strength of such all-time classics as British Steel’(1980) and Screaming For Vengeance (1982), as well as being one of the first metal bands to be embraced by the then-burgeoning MTV, plus performing at some of the decades biggest concerts (1980’s Monsters of Rock, 1983’s US Festival, and 1985’s Live Aid) and being the first to exclusively wear leather and studs – a look that began during this era and would eventually be embraced by metal heads throughout the world. Priest’s success continued throughout the 90’s and beyond with the addition of drummer Scott Travis, as evidenced by such additional stellar offerings as Painkiller (1990), Angel Of Retribution’(2005) and A Touch Of Evil: Live (2009) the latter of which saw Priest win a Grammy Award for a killer rendition of the classic “Dissident Aggressor”.
In 2011 new guitarist Richie Faulkner came in to replace the previous guitarist who had left in 2010 – the move seemed to have reinvigorated the band, as evidenced by a show-stealing performance on the American Idol TV program that also served as Faulkner’s debut performance with the band (also in 2011 was the release of a new compilation The Chosen Few which included Priest classics selected by some of metal’s biggest names) and the Epitaph concert DVD in 2013.
Priest’s next studio effort would arrive in 2014 Redeemer Of Souls which was supported by another strong tour. In 2017 (and again in 2019) Judas Priest received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and got ready to unleash their latest studio album Firepower (produced by Andy Sneap and Tom Allom) which received global success and critical acclaim. In 2020, a fully official and authorized photographic book, Judas Priest: 50 Heavy Metal Years, was issued.
Few rock or metal acts remain as much of a must-see live attraction as Judas Priest. Having been forced off the road for over a year, Priest will soon make a most-welcomed return to metalheads coast to coast, with the 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour.
8 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena*
9 – Virginia Beach, VA – Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater*+
11 – Orlando, FL – Central Florida Fairgrounds^#
13 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
14 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater*
16 – Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena*
17 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre^
19 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre*
20 – Rosemont, IL – Rosemont Theatre*
22 – Milwaukee, WI – Miller High Life Theatre^
23 – Minneapolis, MN – The Armory*
25 – Maryland Heights, MO – Saint Louis Music Park
26 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival^#
29 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom^
30 – West Valley City, UT – Maverik Center*
2 – Everett, WA – Angel Of The Winds Arena*
3 – Portland, OR – Moda Center*
5 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater^
6 – Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft Theater^
8 – Las Vegas, NV – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood
9 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Federal Theatre
12 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum^
13 – Cedar Park, TX – HEB Center Cedar Park^
15 – Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
16 – Oklahoma City OK – The Zoo Amphitheatre^
19 – Independence,, MO – Cable Dahmer Arena*
21 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal Auditorium*
22 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre*
24 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Civic Center Coliseum*
25 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met*
27 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center*
28 – Oxon Hill, MD – The Theater at MGM National Harbor
30 – Mashantucket, CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater^
31 – Lowell, MA – Tsongas Center At UMass Lowell*
2 – Halifax, NS – Scotiabank Centre*
4 – Laval, QC – Place Bell*
5 – Hamilton, ON – First Ontario Centre*
* – new show
^ – not a Live Nation event
# – festival date
+ – Sabaton not support on this date; support is TBD