Guitarist K.K. Downing quits Judas Priest after 40 years


Image Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

British rockers Judas Priest are famous for breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law (at least in song). But today it was announced that guitarist and founding member K.K. Downing has broken with the metal muthas after 40 years of service.

In a statement on the official Judas Priest website the band announced “with regret” that Downing has retired and will not be joining them on their forthcoming tour. Downing will be replaced by a British guitarist called Richie Faulkner.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

Read more:
Duff McKagan gives us the lowdown on reuniting with Axl Rose, his band’s new CD, and how to invest your poker winnings

Dave Grohl Q&A: The Foo Fighters frontman talks about the new Foos album, saying no to ‘Glee,’ and playing ‘Smells LIke Teen Spirit’ for the first time in 18 years

Comments (31 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • UGH

    Kind of ridiculous seeing that the upcoming tour is their last. I guess KK sees greener pastures in the golf courses he owns.

    • greg bass

      I love u kk, back in the 80’s peep,s called me kk cause i dreesed like & tryed to play like u. seen u 3 times & i’m going 2 miss u. God bless u.

  • Mike

    Sudden news usually means health issues.Hope I’m wrong.

  • Dr. Linus

    If I keep reading articles like this, I’m going to eventually realize I’m officially old. Forty years, wow. Hopefully it isn’t health related.

  • billie

    Weak sauce…this is the last tour..could be a internal problem or health…

  • Tim

    I can’t believe it. I planned on seeing them when they came to my town. Now if I still do there won’t be KK :(. Plus I have never seen them live before. I hope he is alright

  • RobNJ

    Is Les Binks on this tour?

    • Garjaye

      Ha ha!! Les Binks? I wish!! He’s my favorite Priest drummer… I can’t believe they fired him because he was TOO good. Who does that?

      • piespy

        I thought that Les was the Best.

        Best Album Hell Bent for Leather!

  • Kel

    Sad news for KK fans, but at least he’s being replaced by a very worthy guitarist.

  • John

    No replacement is possible. He was integral to that band. I am sad hope he is ok.

    • ks

      this me too. amazing band, I can’t believe we are that old :)

  • Death

    they are my favorite band and i loved k.k downing. awesome guitarist.

    still happy i saw them together on the british steel tour. awesome performance

  • JPX

    Damn. Without Dowing there is no Priest. I’m so glad I got to see him perform. Screaming for Vengeance is the best metal album of all time.

  • Alison Maloy

    Just felt I had to make a comment,my cousin is Richie Faulkner and he is an amazing guitarist,and I know all you Priest fans will not be disappointed.

  • DC

    KK Released a statement explaining (sort of) what happened. As expected, he actually tells us what happened, as opposed to the secrecy management keeps surrounding the band.

    Dear friends,

    It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K.

    There has been an ongoing breakdown in working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band’s management for some time.

    Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans.

    However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.

    All my love and respect,

  • john kilroe

    give the man props if he not happy why tour he would make ton of money on this tour thank u kk for all the great music and cheers to you

  • Marz

    “Mr. Downing is primed and ready on a Sunday….ooohhhh…..The Sinner!”

  • Lynn Hedgecoke

    Ive been a fan ever since their first album.Im 50 now.Thats quite awhile.KK deserves respect for the move he made(to retire).

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Music


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP