Article Amended on 30-11-2014.
On April 22, 2011, the metal world woke up to the most unexpected news from one of the most prominent power metal bands. KAMELOT’s legendary singer Roy Khan left the band. He has gone on another journey, after a recent gloomy burnout whose end was bitter to the fans.
UPDATE APRIL 2018:
In fact, back in September 2010, it was reported that Khan endured a major breakdown and collapse during the final rehearsals for the upcoming “PANDEMONIUM” North American tour, forcing the band to postpone it.
Speculations of him suffering from anxiety and depression were quickly denounced by KAMELOT, who stated that their singer had fallen “severely ill” and was “under his physician’s care”. But it turned out that this illness wasn’t to resolve rather quickly.
Read Updates about Roy Khan:
This is when around 7 months later, he took to the public via his official MySpace blog (down since), to announce the following:
“Dear fans & friends,
There have been a lot of speculations around why I am not touring with Kamelot and I want to make a statement although it may not prevent further guessing as to what’s actually going on. It is a fact however that I told the guys in the band already last fall (well after my burnout) that I was leaving the band. Naturally enough they were shocked (as was the label and everyone else working with Kamelot). In addition to risk of dropping ticket sales they wanted to give me time to think things over, and so I did. My decision still stands; It is finished.
I am currently spending time with my family in Norway taking it easy and wondering profoundly what the future is going to bring. Communication with the outer world has been so and so. but I have had several talks with Thomas along the way although I am still called in sick. I am terribly sorry that my decision is affecting so many others and I want you to know I wish the band & associates all the best for the future and that I enjoyed every second in the spotlight. How could I not…they were nourished by the best fans in the world! I am eternally thankful for everything you and Kamelot have given me and equally sorry that it has to end here. The good news is; God was there after all…
Love you to death!
All the best & so long,
The 44-year-old man had seemingly found God.
But what happened afterwards?
In an interview on June 9, 2012, KAMELOT’s mastermind Thomas Youngblood was asked the following question:
“Have you heard anymore from Roy?
Before making the final choice on the new singer, we did correspond via email. I know he’s in good health, working in Norway. When he quit Kamelot he also chose to quit the music business and seems to be very happy. A page is turned, it’s a new era for Kamelot! It’s very exciting and I can already tell you it’s gonna be great.”
And this would be the last time we would officially hear from Khan. But the metal fans weren’t to let him go away easily.
In May 2013, a video entitled “Roy Khan Singing To God – May 2013” popped up online, having been removed several times before [not sure of this info though].
It clearly included Khan’s voice covering a Christian gospel song by Tim Hughes called “Happy Day”.
Then, around August 2013, a topic entitled “You Would Not Believe Who This Is” was created on the “anybodylistening.net” forum. (later to be removed and the website became a Queensryche fan website)
It featured a photo of a thin bald-headed man in a church, chanting God’s name. Details regarding the location, the date and the person who took it could not be found.
One thing was sure however, it couldn’t be other than Roy Sætre Khantatat, KAMELOT’s former singer.
This clearly showed that this man was not comfortable much with the dark days of the band, and wanted to wipe away the past by completely changing his look and becoming barely recognizable to his fans.
In a February 2005 French interview, the singer had cited that he grew up in a family with Christian and non-Christian extremists, showing he was well exposed to the religion at that time.
“une partie de ma famille est extrêmement chrétienne et l’autre partie, extrêmement non-chrétienne. Je ne me sens pas vraiment au milieu mais j’ai l’opportunité de décrire différents aspects de la vie. J’ai cette merveilleuse position dans le groupe qui me permet d’exprimer mes opinions et, plus important encore, de faire réfléchir les gens. les faire rêver aux choses merveilleuses que l’on rencontre dans la vie.”
Moreover, his daughter Stella Kjaernes Khantatat was seemingly baptized in 2010 in a church, as stated in a Norwegian document under “Døpte”, which translates into “Christenings”; the act of giving a Christian name at baptism. It is not however known whether this occurred before or after Khan’s burnout in September.
He also has a son called Gabriel, who came to be known through the song ‘Anthem’ on the band’s 2007 record “GHOST OPERA”, which seemingly was written by Roy himself a few days before he was born.
His wife Elisabeth Kjærnes Khantatat, who made appearances on KAMELOT’s ‘March Of Mephisto’ music video and the band’s 2006 live concert “ONE COLD WINTER’S NIGHT”, singing on ‘March Of Mephisto’ and ‘Nights Of Arabia’, reportedly worked/still works at a Christian-owned company.
All in all, these conditions mostly helped Roy make the transition and rejoin his “Christian roots”, and he is currently “happy”, seemingly singing at an “Evangelical Lutheran Free Church” (Frikirken) in Norway, where he had two Christmas concerts in 2013, as can be read over here.
The photo below, is the latest known photo of Khan to date, whose caption reports him as a “church worker”.
Finally, a few weeks ago, another song surfaced online, but was quickly deleted afterwards.
Thankfully, some fellas were able to get hold of it. It consists of Secret Garden’s famous track “You Raise Me Up” (covered by Josh Groban in 2004), a part of which is heard in the clear voice of no other than Roy Khan.
Some fans are nowadays speculating that the former KAMELOT singer is currently preparing to release a “Gospel CD”.
If you ask me, I would definitely buy it. Even more, if ever I come to Norway, I’ll try to ask about him and pass by the church where he sings to hear his unique voice one more time, just one more.
After sharing this article which investigates and speculates but does not confirm what happened to Roy, we received the following message from one the admins of Roy Khan & Roy Khan Come Back with Solo Project pages on Facebook:
“Details of the photo where Roy was shown bald got deleted after I shared it on a facebook page. It was from the Lorenskog frikirke. Also some of the info is incorrect or incomplete. Happy Day and You Raise Me Up were released on the same day. Roy didn’t like these songs being online so we had to delete them. Roy works with the youth in church and he occasionally sings there. He did not sing during the christmas concerts, he helped organise them. Roy is DEFINITELY not working on a gospel CD. He still likes metal, but has got no plans to return in the near future. If he’d return it’d be some kind of solo project.
Lots of new things about Roy practically got exposed by me. I was the one who found the frikirke Photo, the skateboard photo, the articles and so on.. It might not have been a good thing to do after all.”
“[Also] Roy is one of the coaches of a kid’s soccer team in Moss, he also organizes a skate competition in Moss each September to bring the youth closer to the church“
I conclude with the lyrics of “Happy Day”. Which pretty much sums up how Roy Khan has turned his life upside down after leaving KAMELOT. (Track featured above in this article).
What Happened To Roy Khan After Leaving The Band?