Rob Halford, the Metal God (TM) songwriter and four octave singer of the legendary English band Judas Priest, was in large part responsible for the sartorial association of rock with S&M fetish gear. When the group began performing in 1969 they wore the typical rock uniform of the day (complete with floral-print and bell bottoms) but later moved into leather and spikes to coincide with the release of the album Killing Machine. The look became influential throughout the genre and came to define their costuming for decades.
For Halford, coming out was a lucky accident: It slipped out during an interview with MTV in 1998. The singer has expressed his surprise that fans never realized ahead of time given that he had been responsible for a wardrobe that drew inspiration from gay fetish stores.