|Also known as: Ripper, Tim "Ripper" Owens
Born on: 13.09.1967
Tim "Ripper" Owens (born Timothy S. Owens on September 13, 1967 in Akron, Ohio) is an American heavy metal singer who currently performs with Beyond Fear. He first gained attention as the lead singer of Judas Priest, and then Iced Earth. He also works with some side projects such as Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force.
Prior to joining Judas Priest in 1996, Owens was frontman of a heavy metal band called Brainicide. Later he was in Winter's Bane, with whom he recorded an album called Heart of a Killer in 1993. He also was the frontman of Judas Priest tribute band British Steel, named after the Judas Priest album.
The young Ohio salesman and tribute band frontman made headlines in 1996 when he went from being a fan of the British metal act Judas Priest to being their lead singer, filling the shoes of Rob Halford (and, by doing so, inspiring the movie Rock Star, which was later discredited by the band). Despite numerous rumours that Halford would reunite with Priest, Owens recorded two studio albums with his childhood heroes, as well as two live albums and a 2002 DVD release. Owens even helped write one Judas Priest song, "What's My Name?", which was a bonus track on Demolition.
Judas Priest reunited with Rob Halford in 2003. That same year Matt Barlow, the frontman for Iced Earth, quit the band and Owens became their new lead singer. Iced Earth's first album with Owens, The Glorious Burden, came out in early 2004. While singing with Judas Priest, Owens had toured with Iced Earth (and Anthrax) in 2001, but the tour was cut short in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Recently, Owens reunited with his former Winter's Bane colleague Dennis Hayes in a band called Beyond Fear. The self-titled debut album from this new band was released in May 2006. Hayes would join Iced Earth as well in 2007 after bassist James "Bo" Wallace left due to family health issues.
On 11 December 2007, Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer announced that Tim Owens would be leaving the band as Matt Barlow had been invited to return to the line-up after heavy feedback from fans.
On February 26th, 2008, it was announced that Tim Owens is now the new lead singer for Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, replacing Doogie White.