RIPPER OWENS: I Am Still The Lead Singer Of JUDAS PRIEST

Despite ample evidence pointing to the fact that his days in the group are numbered, singer Tim "Ripper" Owens confirmed during a radio appearance last night (Jan. 25) that he is still a member of JUDAS PRIEST.

Owens, who replaced Rob Halford as the group's frontman in 1996, reportedly told WNEW hard rock personality Eddie Trunk during a live appearance on his "Eddie Trunk Rocks" show that JUDAS PRIEST drummer Scott Travis' quote regarding Halford's possible return to the band was probably "taken out of context" and claimed that the group have thus far been unable to locate Scott to find out exactly what he said or what he meant by his statement. He also added that he is taking a more active role in the songwriting process for the band's upcoming CD and has already penned three songs for possible inclusion on the as-yet-untitled effort, tentatively due sometime in 2004. Ripper's sole songwriting contribution to JUDAS PRIEST so far has been the track "What's My Name?" , which appeared as a bonus cut on the Japanese version of the band's last studio CD, "Demolition".

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