Today on this date in 1951, one of heavy metal’s most iconic and outspoken frontmen, Rob Halford, was born. Since joining Judas Priest in 1973, he quickly and deservedly earned the title ‘The Metal God,’ and was the voice of some of the most recognizable metal songs ever. After leaving the band in 1991, Halford went on to form Fight and an industrial solo project 2wo. He also released several solo albums, but the call of the Priest was too strong to ignore, and he rejoined the band in 2003. Halford’s influence on metal and culture is undeniable. His voice has inspired thousands of people to pick up the mic, while his fashion has been co-opted by everyone from black metal bands to Lady Gaga. While we could write more about him, Halford’s voice speaks for itself, and while there are more songs that exemplify Judas Priest, we’re going to go back to 1990’s Painkiller, with it’s amazing title track that finds the entire band firing on all cylinders. Happy Birthday, Rob!

Oh yeah, and it’s also Gene Simmons’ birthday today too, but he doesn’t get his own post.