JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton has thanked fans for their support, a year and a half after he announced he was battling Parkinson's disease.
Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's more than five years ago — after being stricken by the condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of PRIEST's latest album, "Firepower". He was replaced by "Firepower" album producer Andy Sneap, who is also known for his work in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT. Tipton occasionally joins PRIEST onstage for its encores, performing "Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law" and "Living After Midnight".
Tipton, who turned 72 last Friday (October 25),took to PRIEST's social media today to write: "I am overwhelmed by all the kind birthday messages - I would like to thank every single fan for your support and love - particularly over the past year which has been a tough one for me.....thank you all so much! No surrender!!"
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob Halford joined the group in 1973 and Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then returned to PRIEST in 2003. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.
This past summer, JUDAS PRIEST completed a U.S. tour with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP. The 32-date trek kicked off on May 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and wrapped on June 29 at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.