The Metal God, Rob Halford, recently explained his relationship with the nickname in an interview with Rock FM. The Judas Priest singer told how he got the unofficial title in the first place and how he feels about using it.
Nicknames are usually given to the singers either by fans, their bandmates, or themselves. However, it’s always essential for fans to eventually adapt to it so it can stick to them. Having a title such as Ozzy Osbourne as the Prince of Darkness, Eric Clapton as Slowhand, or Bruce Springsteen as The Boss, gives artists another dimension among their fanbase.
Judas Priest’s vocalist Rob Halford is instantly recognizable due to his distinctive metal voice. He has also been an influential metal personality with his onstage clothes like leather jackets and studs. Thanks to his applauded vocals and trademark fashion style, his fans gave him the nickname ‘The Metal God,’ which is probably the highest praise a singer could get.
Rob Halford received the nickname Metal God after Judas Priest released their 1980 album ‘British Steel,’ for which they received commercial success. The track ‘Metal Gods’ on it slowly became a nickname for their vocalist, and he has been cherishing it ever since. In his recent interview, he revealed that he even trademarked the name so no one else could claim it, as his fanbase gave him this unique title.
Halford told the story of his nickname:
“It’s beautiful. Many years ago, Judas Priest had a record called ‘British Steel’ and the very famous track on the ‘British Steel’ album, called ‘Metal Gods.’ Shortly after that, the fans would start referencing, ‘Hey Rob, the Metal God from Judas Priest.‘ That became a nickname and an ‘a.k.a.’ I didn’t think anything of it. But then it just became a thing.
I love it, and I treasure it. I love it so much because it came from my wonderful metal maniacs around the world. I love it so much that I’ve actually trademarked ‘Metal God.’ I trademarked it years ago. My thing is now is that there is only one Elvis Presley, and there is only one Metal God. I have a lot of fun with it, but I cherish it because it comes from our fans.”
‘British Steel’ is the sixth album by Judas Priest, released on April 14, 1980. The album helped them gain commercial success and is known to have kickstarted heavy metal’s success in the ’80s. This record had massive importance for the reputation of heavy metal and made way for other heavy metal musicians to spread their influence.