In a recent interview with Music Radar, JUDAS PRIEST lead singer Rob Halford was asked if RUSH‘s recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame gave him some hope that PRIEST could be next in line to be honored. “I hope so, sure,” Halford replied. “I think it’s great. I would love to be in the Hall Of Fame. Are you kidding me? [laughs] I think we’re worthy contenders. Without standing on a soapbox, I think we meet all of the credentials. If and when that moment comes up, we’ll be tremendously honored, and we’d be in the company of the world’s greatest musicians from all walks of life.”
He continued: “Getting into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame is out of our control, really. We won’t know that it’s happening till it does. But I can tell you this: if it does come about, you’ll see some very happy metalheads in the U.K. – and worldwide, too. It would be such an affirmation for PRIEST and metal music.”
Halford — who revealed he was homosexual during a 1998 appearance on MTV — also spoke about the controvery surrounding basketball player Jason Collins, who recently made history when he came out as the first openly gay player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Asked why he thinks there’s such disparity between heavy metal and pro sports on gay issues, Halford said: “With me, I think that it was a controversial moment, but I also think that the biggest story is definitely in sports. What this guy did recently, the NBA player, you can’t say ‘good for you’ enough. You know what I mean?”
He added: “It’s so important to go through life without hiding your true self. I know I felt that way for most of my adult life, that I had to hide. It was a big decision for me to take that step, although I was out of PRIEST at the time. But I was always putting the band before me. As much as I love this band more than anything else in the world, if you can’t look after things in your own house, how can you look after things when you walk out the door?
“You’ve got to try and find some balance, some peace and calm. It’s just a load off your back more than anything else, to not have to lie and to be comfortable with yourself. So I thank all of my fans across the world for accepting me. Maybe it was because of the work that I’d already created, and maybe it was — I don’t really know to this day — that people were like, ‘Well, we kind of figured that he was anyway.’ [laughs] I don’t know. But the actual acceptance — I could never say ‘thank you’ to my fans enough.
“At the end of the day, and I’m just speaking straightforward, you’re dealing with ignorance, whether it’s people accepting your preference, the color of your skin, your religion or whatever it might be. Bigoted hatred is just mind-numbing. Nobody succeeds with negativity. Negativity is a poison. The best way is to be honest and open.”