Rob Halford, who is the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, has revealed that he battled prostate cancer last year and is now in remission, according to PEOPLE.
In an interview with Heavy Consequence, the 70-year-old singer revealed he had a “little cancer battle” during the COVID pandemic, but “told hardly anyone.”
He said, “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.”
Halford released an additional chapter to his 2020 book Confess, sharing that he had a “draining year” after going through radiotherapy in early 2020, He said he also underwent an appendectomy around the same time.
He wrote, “It’s been a draining year, I can’t deny it, but I’m delighted to have come through it. I feel like I’ve had the most thorough MOT that a Metal God can have.”
The songwriter went on to explain that he was “wallowing” in his anger as he faced the disease but got a “reality check” after coming across a commercial from a local hospital.
He wrote, “It showed kids with cancer. Some only babies. They were lying there, with tubes coming out of them, fighting for their lives. They didn’t know what was going on… It made me feel totally ashamed of myself; Rob, how dare you be so selfish? And from that second, I change my entire mental attitude towards my disease.”
Halford learned about his diagnosis after getting tested after feeling symptoms since 2017. In July 2020, he underwent prostatectomy surgery to remove the cancer. He now encourages men to get screened frequently for the disease.
He wrote in his book, “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 also opened up about his near-overdose experience, which led him to decide to be completely sober.
He said, “By the mid-’80s, I was on the rock n’ roll train to hell. Thank God the brakes were put on at the right time.”
“That was definitely a cry for help,” he added. “The fact that I was laying on my bed, taking a pill and a slug of Jack Daniels and mumbling, ‘Nobody loves me, nobody loves me…’ and then suddenly, clarity.
‘You idiot!’ If I hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t be speaking today. Something clicked inside of me.”