Ray Gillen

Although vocalist Ray Gillen first hit the music scene via heavy metal legends Black Sabbath, he was more of a blues-rock singer (à la Robert Plant, Paul Rodgers, Steve Marriott), as evidenced by his work with Badlands. Born May 12, 1961, in Cliffside Park, NJ, Gillen began singing in bands as a teenager, inspired by the likes of Bad Company, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin. By the early '80s, Gillen was fronting several regional cover bands, one of which was called Harlett, and in 1985 he joined the outfit Rondinelli, which was founded by former Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli. But before the outfit could issue any recordings, Gillen accepted an offer to join Black Sabbath in late 1986 (strangely, he was also offered the lead role in the popular Broadway musical Cats at the same time). Although guitarist Tony Iommi was the only remaining original member of Sabbath at the time, they toured arenas around the world, as Gillen lent his vocal talents to Sabbath's 1987 release, The Eternal Idol.

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