Tim 'Ripper' OwensTim 'Ripper' Owens
, born as Timothy Owens in 1968
. This young Ohio salesman and tribute band frontman made headlines in 1996
when from a fan he became the frontman for legendary British metal
act Judas Priest
, filling the shoes of no other than Rob Halford
(and, by doing so, inspiring the movie Rock Star, which was later discredited by the band). Owens quickly proved to be a vocalist of great class, possessing a range equal to that of legendary "Metal God" Halford, but has often been criticized for trying to mimic his hero and for having a poor stage presence. Despite numerous rumours that Halford is reuniting with Priest, Owens has so far recorded two studio albums with his childhood heroes, as well as two live albums and a 2002 DVD
Judas Priest reunited with Rob Halford in 2003. A year earlier the frontman for Iced Earth quit the band and Owens became the new lead singer for Iced Earth after leaving Judas Priest. Iced Earth's new album, The Glorious Burden, is due to come out late in 2004.