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Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, 2017 Lemmy Award Recipient

Rob Halford

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford will be presented with the inaugural ‘Lemmy’ Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards, taking place Oct. 24 at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.

Certain institutions that exist solely to bestow the highest honors upon rock ‘n’ roll legends seem to be a little confused when it comes to whether Judas Priest singer Rob Halford is worth inclusion. We’re not confused at all. “Living legend” — there are plenty of those. “Hall of Famer” — a title he should have, but still not laudatory enough. Even his own trademark, “Metal God” — actually, wait! That one’s perfect!

There aren’t enough words in a 1,000-page biography to convey Halford’s accomplishments, so we won’t even try. The basics should be enough to make you genuflect. If you include the live stuff — and why the hell wouldn’t you? — he has fronted 18 Judas Priest full-length releases in 30 years. From their gargantuan sphere of influence (almost 50 million album sales worldwide) to a jaw-dropping string of classic albums from (Sad Wings of Destiny, British Steel, Defenders of the Faith, Screaming for Vengeance, to name a few), their incredible live show, Judas Priest are among the greatest metal bands to ever exist — and Halford is a massive reason why. “Hell Bent for Leather” isn’t just a song title; it’s a way of life for the man who revolutionized metal fashion, then revolutionized bad-assery by routinely riding a motorcycle onstage.

He’s contributed those instantly recognizable pipes to songs by Queens of the Stone Age, Five Finger Death Punch and, just this year, In This Moment’s “Black Wedding.” You know every word of “Breaking the Law,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “Living After Midnight” even if you haven’t dropped the needle on a single album, which, if that’s the case, sigh … we’ll be nice, just this once. Remedy that. Now. And we haven’t even gotten into his far-reaching solo career, from Fight and 2wo to Halford. There’s no time. He’s too prolific. Too awesome. Too iconic.

Lemmy Kilmister, dearly departed godhead of the hard rocking machine that was Motörhead, impacted the music he loved beyond compare, from that ravaged throat and distinctive low-end growl to extreme sartorial sensibilities and no-effs-given attitude. The day he passed, if you had any heart, you stopped what you were doing right then and there to pay respect. Halford was among the many to do so at Lemmy’s funeral last September, remembering an early-morning encounter in a South American airport in which he asked the Motörhead great to inch in for a selfie. There was no ego. No ulterior motives. Nothing manipulative. Greatness simply recognized greatness. It’s time for us to recognize greatness, too.

It is our honor to bestow inaugural Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Award on the Metal God. Actually, all-caps is mandatory for this one. Rob Halford is, and always will be, a METAL GOD.

Rob Halford will receive the Lemmy Lifetime Achievement Honor at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards, taking place Oct. 24 at The Novo in downtown  Los Angeles. Tickets are available here.

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