When you're the self-proclaimed "Metal God," who do you look to for inspiration on a regular basis? In a new interview, Rob Halford said that he listens to Ronnie James Dio before nearly every Judas Priest concert.

"I listen to Ronnie for so many weeks at a time," he told the OC Weekly. "I find his voice so inspiring and so powerful for me as a singer. I always listen to Ronnie before I go on stage with Priest because I find his voice invigorating. It gets my blood pumping and gets me in the zone before I go out and do my thing with Priest. I pretty much listen to him almost every time."

Calling him "my late dear friend," Halford elaborated on what made the former Black Sabbath and Dio singer so special. "He was a very influential singer," he continued. "If you listen to him now, you can almost imagine what he was like behind the mic in the studio because he's so committed; you can tell in his delivery, presence and performance. It's almost as if he's just recorded it and laid the track down last week. That's the great thing about Ronnie; he had that kind of engineered dynamic that is very difficult to capture in the studio, but he delivered that at every show night after night."

Another person who earned Halford's praise recently was Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced K.K. Downing on their new album Redeemer of Souls. "Let’s face it, to some extent Richie saved Judas Priest," he said, "because if we hadn’t have found him at the crucial time that we were looking for a guitar player things could have turned out quite differently.”

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