Rob Halford On Why His Coming Out Was A Bigger Deal Than Billie Eilish’s

In a recent chat with Metal Hammer, Rob Halford reflected on his decision to come out as gay in 1998, suggesting that the impact of his revelation was more significant than when Billie Eilish shared her bisexuality.

During his 1998 MTV News appearance, Halford made the bold decision to publicly reveal his homosexuality, a move he didn’t fully anticipate the magnitude of at the time. He attributed the differences to the times and mediums through which the messages were delivered, saying:

“When I made that announcement at the MTV studio, I didn’t really realize how big of a deal that was going to be. This was before the internet, so the way the message was communicated was at a snail’s pace. Which isn’t a bad thing, because when Billie Eilish finally made the pronunciation of who she is, the world was on fire for 48 hours, and then the world moved on. I think I understood within a matter of days how I’d now put myself into a place of, ‘What’s going to happen next?'”

The Fear Of Rejection

Speaking to the WTF With Marc Maron podcast last year, the vocalist discussed the universal fear of rejection that many LGBTQ+ individuals face, a sentiment he shared before coming out. His apprehension was compounded by industry pressures to remain closeted to protect Judas Priest’s success. He stated:

“I question whether if I had not have come out like I did, would I still be in the closet? Because I talk about in the book about having to hide because it was suggested to me by people in the industry, ‘Don’t tell them that you’re gay. It’ll be the end of the band.’ What a horrible thing to think about, but it’s a fact. The guys in the band knew, and the people in the label knew.”

Eilish’s Perspective On Coming Out

Recently, Eilish found herself at the center of media attention following a casual remark about her sexual orientation. Eilish criticized the focus on her personal life over her artistic achievements, questioning the necessity of ‘coming out’ and advocating for a world where individuals can simply exist without labels.

Meanwhile, ‘Invincible Shield,’ the nineteenth studio album from Judas Priest, was launched on March 6, 2024, in Japan by Sony, followed by a global release on March 8 through Columbia and Epic Records. Coinciding with the album’s debut, the band is set to begin a worldwide tour starting the same month.