Downing left the group in 2011 and has been estranged from Priest in the years to follow. He has since formed a solo act, KK’s Priest, laying claim to half of his ex-band’s namesake. Nevertheless, his contributions during his four-decade stint with the NWOBHM pioneers remain essential to the Judas Priest legacy.
When Priest were announced as part of the class of 2022 via the Musical Excellence Award, many wondered whether Downing would attend the ceremony alongside his former bandmates. Thankfully, founding bassist Ian Hill has confirmed that K.K. will be there for the induction.
“[Guitarist] Richie [Faulkner] is sadly not being inducted, but really deserves to be as he’s been the driving force in the band for nearly 12 years now,” Hill said told Metal Hammer when asked which members would be enshrined. “Dave Holland [drummer 1979-1989] was in the band for a long time and obviously Ken [guitarist KK Dowling] will be there. Les Binks was with us all those years, as was Scott [Travis, drums] so he’ll be part of the induction too.”
Speaking specifically about Downing, Hill added: “He’s spoken to management and said he will definitely be there. It should be good.”
Previously, frontman Rob Halford told Rolling Stone that he’s open to performing with Downing at the ceremony. “Absolutely. As I said before, you’ve got to push aside anything that gets in the way. You’ve got to remove the emotional clutter and just reference this great celebration. Otherwise, if you don’t do that, and you leave the building, a couple of years later you’ll go, ‘What the hell? Why didn’t we do that?’ It’s a few hours, but those few hours last forever.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for November 5th at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The class of 2022 also includes Eminem, Dolly Parton, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, and more.