[Photo via Wikipedia Commons]

Judas Priest guitarist Andy Sneap just received a honorary master’s degree from Derby University. 

Sneap, who just celebrated his 50th anniversary this week, was given the degree for his contribution to the rock music industry. 

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He shared the big news on Facebook along with a few photos. 

Thank you for all the birthday messages, very kind. It was a very different day as some of you may have seen. I was made an honorary master of the universe by the lovely folk at Derby university. I would like to point out this does not make me Dr Sneap as Rob Halford seems to have renamed me, although I fear this title will now stick with me for the foreseeable future,” he wrote. 

Congrats to the guitarist on the huge honor!

More Judas Priest news

Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford is easily the most well-known gay musician in heavy metal, and the singer has asserted he’s irreplaceable.

In an interview with the Edmonton Journal, Halford jokingly made the claim that “a straight man can’t do my job.”

The vocalist is well-known for his vast vocal range. He also discussed how he keeps his voice strong after all of the years of touring and recording. Later in the interview, he talks about his coming out in 1998. He added that he was concerned with losing fans.

Halford recalls being “surrounded by homophobia” and further says there are still countries where Priest can’t play because of his sexuality.

“I discovered when I did come out that I was in this trap gay people find themselves living in that you’re living your life for everyone else, but not yourself,” says Halford.

The vocalist admits his sexuality isn’t important to the band’s music, but jokingly says “a straight man can’t do my job.”

While the joke is made in jest, it does seem like a bit of a shot at Tim “Ripper” Owens who is a straight man that fronted the group at one point. Halford left the band from 1992 to 2003 and during that time Owens faithfully fronted the band.

We don’t think Halford is being malicious with his words here, but there was clearly something missing on their albums released during his time away from the band.

He also later pointed to Queen’s Freddie Mercury to support his words, saying “If Freddie hadn’t have been gay, Queen would’ve been a totally different band.”

The interview ends with Halford saying he’ll be writing down further thoughts on his perspective about gay people in music. While we’re not sure what will come of that, we’re beyond stoked for what it is.

What do you think of the Judas Priest guitarist receiving the honor? Sound off in the comments down below!

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