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Metal Hammer
Metal Hammer
Classic Rock

“If one person deserves a knighthood, it’s Ozzy Osbourne”: Judas Priest’s Rob Halford urges King Charles to knight the Prince Of Darkness


Judas Priest singer Rob Halford says that Ozzy Osbourne should be knighted.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Halford, whose band release their new album Invincible Shield in March, suggested that the former Black Sabbath singer deserves the honour for his services to music.

“If one person deserves a knighthood, it’s Ozzy Osbourne,” Halford says. “Just for the joy he’s given people over the years.”

The friendship between the two singers stretches back decades, with Halford even stepping in for a bronchitis-stricken Ozzy at a Black Sabbath show in New Jersey in 2004. “When the Black Sabbath album came out and like everybody else, their sound shook me to the core,” he told Classic Rock’s sister title Metal Hammer in 2017.

In the new Classic Rock interview, the Priest singer reveals his own unlikely encounter with the late Queen Elizabeth, when he was introduced to the monarch by light entertainer Cilla Black at an event to celebrate British music held at Buckingham Palace.

Halford says: “I was standing in line with Cilla, who I’d met earlier, waiting to meet the Queen. Cilla has met her before, and she says, ‘This is Rob Halford, he’s flown in from Finland to be here.’ And the Queen said, ‘You play music? What kind of music do you play?’ So I said, ‘Heavy metal.’ And she said, ‘Oh, heavy metal? Why do they have to play so loud?’ So I just went, ‘So you can bang your head, your majesty.’ It was such a lovely night, talking about heavy metal to the Queen.”

Judas Priest release Invincible Shield on March 8. They recently released the third single from the album, the slow-burning Crown Of Horns. “It’s quite a self-reflective song,” says Halford of the track. “It could be about pining for a loved one or a personal journey you’re on or some spiritual connection. But it’s also a call for collective unity: ‘Raise your horns up high.’”

Invincible Shield is the band’s 19th album, and their first since 2018’s acclaimed Firepower. “Metal is having a renaissance right now,” Halford tells Classic Rock. “There’s us, there’s Saxon with their brilliant new album, there’s Iron Maiden, of course. It’s a great time for metal.”

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