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K. K. Downing Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Kenneth Downing, Jr. was born on 27 October 1951, in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England, and better known by his stage name K.K. Downing, he is a guitarist and songwriter, recognized as a founding member of the British heavy metal band Judas Priest.
A noted guitarist, how loaded is K.K. Downing? According to sources in early 2017, Downing has established a net worth of over $40 million; his assets include a home in Spain, and an estate in Astbury Hall in Shropshire, England, which includes a golf course. The main source of his wealth has been his involvement in Judas Priest.
K. K. Downing Net Worth $40 Million
Downing’s passion for music was born at an early age. After being kicked out of his home at 15, he left school shortly after and focused on playing guitar, being strongly influenced by the legendary Jimi Hendrix. He went to catering college and worked as trainee chef at a restaurant, but meantime , he formed a band with a cousin and a friend.
In 1969, he and his high school friend Ian Hill formed a heavy metal band called Judas Priest. With Downing on guitar and Hill on bass, the band added John Ellis on drums and Alan Atkins on vocals. Although the lineup changed several times over the next few years, Downing remained its acting leader, and the band went on to land numerous gigs across the UK, increasing their following. They eventually signed with the small UK label Gull, releasing their debut single “Rocka Rolla”, and then the same-titled album in 1974. However, the album was a failure and the band’s financial situation was desperate. Although their next album, the 1975 “Sad Wings Of Destiny” was an improvement on the debut, the band still struggled with finances.
However, signing with a major label, CBS Records, changed everything. Their 1977 album “Sin After Sin” was certified gold, then with the 1978 album “Killing Machine” and the 1979 live album “Unleashed in the East” which went platinum, the band’s popularity boosted. Their next album, the 1980 “British Steel” shot them to real success and fame, and extensive worldwide tours followed. They went on to release a number of successful albums. All contributed to Downing’s net worth.
Then in the early ’90s, the band became involved in a civil action following the suicide of two fans in 1985. They were accused of inciting the suicide through their songs, which the two fans were listening to prior to the incident. After a long court battle, they were found not guilty.
The band returned to recording in 1997 and went on to release several more albums and embark on worldwide tours. In 2011, prior to their “Epitah” tour, Downing decided to leave Judas Priest, due to many differences and conflicts within the band and the management. Judas Priest continued with Richie Faulkner as his replacement.
During Downing’s 40 years with the band, Judas Priest released several timeless metal anthems, selling more that 45 million albums. Downing, along with the band’s other guitarist Glenn Tipton, is credited for creating a distinctive guitar sound, setting the standards for heavy metal guitar playing. This enabled him to achieve the status of a star and to amass a sizable net worth.
A year after leaving Judas Priest, Downing participated in recording “Who Are You? An All Star Tribute to the Who”, a tribute album to the band The Who. Then in 2014, he launched his own business venture, The Astbury Fragrances LTD, to create and market a line of personal fragrances called “Metal”.
The guitarist later immersed himself in the game of golf, becoming the owner of a golf course. Reportedly, he plans to build a luxury hotel, spa and restaurant at his Astbury estate.
Speaking about his personal life, Downing was engaged to Sarah Lissimore from 1994 to 2001. Other than that, sources do not have any other details regarding his love life.
The guitarist is involved in philanthropy. He has held several charity events at his Astbury property.