Judas Priest singer Rob Halford has been vocal about his fandom of Dolly Parton in the past, and a big career high for the Heavy Metal God was having the chance to perform onstage with her at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
During a recent conversation with TotalRock’s Dawn Osborne, Halford was asked what that experience was like to perform with the legendary country singer. Along with speaking about how amazing that opportunity was, the Judas Priest frontman also shares that he was invited to collaborate with Parton on her upcoming rock album.
And guess what? He is game for the collaboration. Here is everything that Halford had to say about performing with Parton and being approached to work with her (the following was transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“She was great. This thing about ‘don’t meet your heroes’ — she is the epitome of just being so beautiful and pure. Everything you know about that woman, she’s like that 24-7. I don’t think she ever takes her wig off. She’s incredible; she’s absolutely incredible. And I had no idea.
“They said, ‘Would you like to be on the stage with Simon Le Bon [Duran Duran] and Pat Benatar and Annie Lennox and Pink and Sheryl Crow and the Zac Brown Band. And I go, ‘Yeah, I wanna be on that.’ When they go, ‘Would you like to sing some of the song with Dolly?’ I’m, like, ‘Let me sit down for a minute.’
“So, we did that, and I was over the top, ’cause I was all over like a rash — I was like a total fanboy. I thought, ‘Oh, God. I’ve blown it here now.’ After the show, her manager came up to me, Danny [Nozell], and he goes, ‘She’s doing a project, like a rock album. Would you be interested?’ I said, ‘Yeah. Here’s my number.’ And then, out of the blue, like four weeks later, and suddenly [there’s] ideas for some more work.”
Halford also shared the following:
“Even though I’ll always be a metalhead till the day I day, I’ve always felt that you should explore anything that comes your way. Don’t just say ‘no’, ’cause you don’t know what you’ve lost. So that was just a real thrill. And to see the picture — there’s one very great picture of me and her that went viral, ’cause it just seemed so odd. Not odd in a funny way.
“What it did was it reinforced this thing about, it doesn’t matter what kind of music you’re into, what kind of style of music you play or you love or whatever, we’re all connected. So you get Dolly and Simon and Pink and me, we’re having a chinwag, and it’s like we’re best mates. We probably met each other for the first time in our lives, but the music is the common denominator.
“When you get a chance to meet all these incredible people and you’re chit-chatting, like Simon Le Bon and Dolly and Pink and me and a bunch of other people, even though we’re from different dimensions of music, there’s a common denominator because that’s what we live for; that’s what we make. Music is music is music. So I’ve never lost that plot in the value of the friendship that music can build, no matter where you are from that world. It all connects.”
What a beautiful perspective that is to have on music and art. It’ll be awesome to hear Dolly Parton’s rock album once it’s released (and to hear Rob Halford on it).