Judas Priest singer Rob Halford has confirmed that Glenn Tipton, the band’s long-tenured guitarist who stepped away in 2018 following his Parkinson’s diagnosis, remains an important part of the group.

“Glenn is still actively involved with Judas Priest, a hundred percent,” Halford noted during an interview with Metal Pilgrim. “Obviously, he plays guitar differently now because he’s got this thing in his life, Parkinson’s, that he battles daily. But he’s never let that diminish him. He’s able to construct songs in a way that makes his input as valuable as it ever was.”

As the metal giants work on material for their upcoming 19th album, Tipton continues to contribute ideas.

“He’s been building his own bunches of ideas, and [guitarist] Richie [Faulkner] is up in Nashville doing the same thing. So we’re gonna be getting together soon,” Halford explained. “We’ll be seeing each other in the studio, and we’re gonna listen to all of the new stuff that we’ve all been compiling, as well as what we already have. And it’s gonna be a great day, man. It’s gonna take a couple of days to go through everything.”

Tipton played on Judas Priest’s last album, 2018’s Firepower, but did not tour with the band to support it. Instead, he focused on his health and made occasional onstage guest appearances. Producer Andy Sneap handled Tipton’s parts for most of that trek, and, even though at one point it appeared the band may look to bring in a new guitarist, Halford indicated a similar setup should be expected for Judas Priest’s upcoming 50th-anniversary tour.

“Andy is still standing in that spot for Glenn with Glenn’s blessing,” the singer revealed. “And don’t discount the fact that Glenn can show up. He plays the guitar differently, but there’s no reason why Glenn can’t show up and do some work. I mean, I’ve said to Glenn, ‘Just walk out onstage and [flash devil horns] to everybody, and the people will just go fucking crazy, because you are loved so much.’ But I’ve got a feeling that Glenn’s gonna be making the occasional appearance on this 50th-anniversary [tour].”

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