[Photo credit: TAKUMI NAKAJIMA, judaspriest.com]

Judas Priest announced that guitarist Glenn Tipton won't be joining the band on their upcoming tour, due to his ongoing struggle with Parkinson's disease.

Read more: Judas Priest are back in the studio working on their new album

“Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s—from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important,” the band shared on their Facebook page.

“Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson's progression he wants to let you all know that he won't be be touring as such.”

However, he explains that he is still a member of the band and is open to joining them on the tour at some point.

“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead, and that I am not leaving the band—it’s simply that my role has changed,” Tipton writes.

“I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again.”

Andy Sneap will be filling in for Tipton on the road, and the tour kicks off March 13 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

You can read the band's Facebook post in full, as well as check out their forthcoming tour dates, below:

GLENN TIPTON/JUDAS PRIEST DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSONS:
Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s – from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important.

Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson's progression he wants to let you all know that he won't be be touring as such –

True to the metal spirit of 'the show must go on' Glenn has requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him

“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band – it’s simply that my role has changed. 
I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again”

Rob, Richie, Ian and Scott have this to say:

“We have been privileged to witness Glenn’s determination and steadfast commitment over the years, showing his passion and self belief through the writing, recording and performing sessions with Priest – he is a true metal hero!
We are not surprised by Glenn’s insistence that we complete the Firepower tour and thank Andy for joining us to make Glenn’s wishes become real –
As Glenn has said we also can’t wait to have him with us at any time any place on the road…..
We love you Glenn!”

Dates:
03/13 – Wilkes-Barre, PA @ Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
03/15 – Youngstown, OH @ Covelli Centre
03/17 – Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
03/18 – Washington, DC @ The Anthem
03/20 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center
03/22 – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena
03/25 – Ottawa, ON @ The Arena at TD Place
03/27 – London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens
03/28 – Oshawa, ON @ Tribute Communities Centre
03/30 – Orillia, ON @ Casino Rama
03/31 – Detroit, MI @ Detroit Masonic Temple
04/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theater
04/05 – Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center
04/08 – Bloomington, IL @ Grossinger Motors Arena
04/10 – Casper, WY @ Casper Events Center
04/11 – Loveland, CO @ Budweiser Events Center
04/15 – Kent, WA @ ShoWare Center
04/17 – Portland, OR @ Veterans Memorial Coliseum
04/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
04/22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Microsoft Theater
04/24 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
04/26 – Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
04/28 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
04/29 – Sugarland, TX @ Smart Financial Centre
05/01 – San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum