“I had my little cancer battle a year ago, which I got through and that’s in remission now, thank God,” the Metal God told Consequence in a new interview. “That happened while we were all locked down, so things happen for a reason as far as time sequence of events. I have nothing but gratitude to be at this point in my life, still doing what I love the most.”
The Judas Priest singer had not previously discussed his cancer battle in public, but he details the ordeal in a new chapter for the paperback edition of his 2020 memoir, Confess. The front man said he first began experiencing symptoms in 2017 and received the diagnosis after extensive testing.
“How did I feel?” Halford writes. “I felt a combination of shock, horror and, oddly, relief — at least now I know! … ‘Am I going to die?’ It was all I could think of. I know blokes who’ve died of prostate cancer. ‘No, you’re not going to die, Rob,’ said Dr. Ali.”
Halford underwent a successful prostatectomy on July 5, 2020. He received radiation treatments in April and May of this year after more cancer was discovered on his prostate bed, and received an appendectomy after doctors found a tumor on his appendix.
“It’s been a draining year, I can’t deny it, but I’m delighted to have come through it,” Halford writes. “I feel like I’ve had the most thorough MOT [measurements, observations and tests] that a Metal God can have.”
Halford isn’t the only member of Judas Priest to have a recent health scare. Guitarist Richie Faulkner‘s aorta ruptured during the band’s Sept. 26 performance at the at the Louder than Life festival in Louisville. Faulkner powered through a set-closing performance of “Painkiller” and was rushed to the hospital immediately afterward. Judas Priest subsequently postponed the remainder of their 50th-anniversary tour. Faulkner spent 10 hours in surgery and got five parts of his chest replaced with mechanical components.
“I’m literally made of metal now,” he joked. “Although I have a recovery road ahead of me, as soon as I’m able to get up and running again, you’ll be the first to know and we’ll get back out there delivering the goods for you all!”
Halford recently talked to UCR about Judas Priest’s 50th-anniversary tour and follow-up album to 2018’s well-received Firepower. “The clock’s always ticking with Priest, and you can’t do too many things at the same time, otherwise things get wonky and they don’t get the care and attention to detail that they deserve,” he said. “But I have a sense that it’s going to be sooner than later. We’re not going to make you wait three, four or five years as some of us have done.”
The Best Song on Every Judas Priest Album
Eighteen tracks that prove the British veterans never abandoned their core principles.