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:
Roy Khan Is Back With His Old Band CONCEPTION | New EP Soon
Roy Khan Releases First Song After Leaving Kamelot
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:
* SEPTEMBER 14th, 2016: Roy Khan Returning To Music Seems SOON!
* MAY 27th, 2015: Is ROY KHAN Preparing His Comeback?
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?
Insightful reading, thanks!
Hi there, You have done a fantastic job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this website.
Thanks for your research. In a way I hate to read all this because Roy will always stay the vocalist of Kamelot for me. But again, great work !
Roy should sing with the Mormon tab choir.
I am really so glad Roy got out of this satanic and illuminati ruled music industry and found his freedom. I had really wondered so much about it, when he had left a band, that was about to become very popular in Europe and especially in Germany. I was listening to their songs all over and over again. But I noticed too that there was a darker part coming up in that music – this was also very obvious in the music videos.
Just wish you happiness, health and joy Roy – you made the right decision and God bless you.
Masturbation is not a crime.I think that you should masturbate more often-at least twice a day.Will keep your sanity intact and prevent you from posting sutpidities on the web…
I wish him the best, for all he gave me to his music, even if there will never be a new song by him again!
Thank you for your hard research =D
Been to many concerts in Norway with Kamelot. And was so lucky to shake hands with Roy during the One Cold Winters night Live concert in Oslo. Roy is one of my two biggest idols (Him and my dad)!
Would love to go to the church Roy is attending since I’m also Christian.
I wish him all the best of luck with whatever he choose to do.
stakkars… blitt hjerne vaska han å….
One question, I thought Roy’s arms were sleeved in tattoos, even if removed you would see scarring in the bald pic. JS
I don’t believe that the man with a shaved head singing in the photo IS NOT Khan because appearantly he has no tattoos.
I am sure that Khan has a lot of tattoos on his arms.
Nope – he wore fake tattoo sleeves. It was well documented. This is why he always wore very long sleeved coats and tops during most of the tours. If you look there are photos of him with short sleeves on and there are no tattoos.
Roy Canada loves you.
Sad to see you leave. wish you the best!
Roy thanks for your music you made my life a fairy tale at times.
We love you in Canada, your the best .
Sad to see you leave . Would love to see a solo project of yours for
your fans and Christian fans. Music connects the world in all forms.
Best wish’s to you and all your endeavour’s.
Had to respond to your message.
I totally agree. Only this afternoon I was listening to conception. And his voice…. Man. What a gifted singer.
A fairytale indeed
Interesting read. People come and go he needed to do what was right for him and his family.
Shame as such rare talent to be lost. I have been listening to Kamelot and Kahn voice and tommy voice are both unique however khan always gave it something extra it touched me more than tommy’s does.
Good luck khan.
Just as an FYI, “Christian and non-Christian extremists” is a gross mistranslation of that french passage. It sounds like you are brainwashed by mainstream media or something. The french means “my family had both those who were extremely christian and extremely non-christian”. I’m not even french and I could figure that out…
Thanks a lot for that message!
Discovering Kamelot&Khan in 2010 brought me back to music&joy after long dark years – mostly because their themes&lyrics often ventured into the deeper questions of life, being not as shallow as much of the music around. And at first I was fascinated, assuming that he might have taken the curve where I failed it. Indeed there was always a spiritual depth in Roy’s singing.
While I am really sad that I might never see Roy sing again, I do well understand that he was looking for something that is more personally rewarding than the show business, or lets say rewarding on another level. I am definitely no christian, but in today’s fast-paced, superficial and mostly fake world churches might actually be one of the few places where one can do honest work for&with human beings.
I’m not sure if I’m more sad or disgusted. Can’t believe he was actually brainwashed by some cult. Such a damn shame. I’m glad he’s happy but can’t help feeling sorry for him.
“,,,brainwashed by some cult” ? Not hardly. By all appearances and as indicated in all the information contained on this page, this simply appears to be a situation where a man had a longing for the Truth and sought to fill the void that earthly desires cannot satisfy. Well, he found it, is living it, and, as a result, he is able to adequately prioritize and focus on those things that truly matter. He is a Christian, not a cult member.
Feeling sad for, sorry for, or disgusted at, are responses indicative of one who has never accepted the grace that is available for all. Perhaps you are unaware that such a grace exists, but I don’t presume to know your circumstance . Such grace does, in fact, exist . As Khan has done, I encourage you to seek the Truth, and hopefully you will find what he has found. Peace be with you !!
A religion is simply an older cult, so in light of him shaving his head and cutting all ties to his former life, my original point still stands. You and I can both play a guessing game as to what finally made him do it, but we’ll likely never know. Personally, I think fear of death had large role in it, as it is often the case with mentally feeble individuals. Being a Christian, you would naturally call what he is currently engaged in “adequately prioritizing and focusing on those things that truly matter”. I would call it wasting your entire life on a non-existent deity. It’s quite ironic that he likely made this decision because he was searching for some greater meaning in life but ended up throwing his life away.
When it comes to the existence of “grace”, don’t worry, I am indeed of aware that most Christians have a warm and fuzzy feeling that God does exists, and that the religion is right. As for seeking the truth (not Truth), I am always open to finding out what is true, which is one of the reasons I find the Christian web of lies so abominable.
Now. Now children. Play nicely!
And anyway this post isn’t about you two. It’s about our friend
The funny thing is that there is no single point about the things you wrote that proves that your opinion is right. You can call it fear of death, wasting your life, lies, abominable… At the end of the day you are expressing an opinion which although I respect, I think you are being disrespectful with other people’s beliefs and your manners might be a offensive as well.
I would suggest you to read “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” from Kant, I think your personality and morals will benefit from the reading. Nothing to do with Religion or Christianity, so don’t be afraid.
It’s a matter of beliefs. Neither you nor I can prove whether God exists or not. You can say that Real Madrid are the best team ever, but in my opinion Barcelona is better.
There is no fear of death in Christianity as for Christians there is evil and death in this world, but not in the afterlife. About “he likely made this decision because he was searching for some greater meaning in life but ended up throwing his life away” If you think that following your own ideals or goals in life are a waste of time, then it’s time for you to rethink the meaning of your life, regardless of religion.
Khan reminds me a lot of Michael Kiske. He didn’t like much the gigs and all the evil/dark side of metal – but there is a good side in metal as well and he actually returned to a new band called Unisonic with Kai Hansen but not actively doing many of the gig stuff.
Ah, I must admit I laughed with your first sentence ‘A religion is simply an older cult’. Looks like the old cult is very present nowadays when most of the world population has a religion (Just a copy and paste from google):
The World Factbook gives the population as 7,095,217,980 (July 2013 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.50% (of which Roman Catholic 16.85%, Protestant 6.15%, Orthodox 3.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 23.20% (of which Sunni 75-90%, Shia 10-20%, Ahmadi 1%), Hindu 13.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, …
If you completely reject science then you are correct – I can’t be proven right and it is just my opinion. However if you do not, Christianity is verifiably and demonstrably false. The Bible is full of things we know are not true and will never be true, therefore, even if we disregard the fact that he is an incoherent, self-contradictory and illogical concept, the god of the Bible cannot and does not exist. That of course does not mean that that SOME god does not exist, I’m open to the possibility – there’s just no evidence for it.
When it comes to respect, I can’t agree. Respect is not the default position – it has to be earned. If a person tells you our universe is located inside of a pink unicorn that farts rainbows, you would not respect his belief. You would call him an idiot (or consider him one) and you would be right.
I usually welcome reading recommendations but since this one comes with a rather disgusting, baseless assumption about me and my morals, I’ll have to decline. So if and when I do read it, it will be solely of my own accord. But I do like how you slipped in the idea that I would be afraid of having my beliefs challenged, that was cute.
As of fear of death, we’ll disagree here as well. Fear of death, need for closure, primacy effect, credulity… these are all things that most religions depend on for their continued existence. When it comes to following your goals in life, that would very much depend on what those goals are, and you would have no choice but to agree. If a person chose to devote their entire life to proving that leprechauns exist, that would be colossal waste of time and a life thrown away, and no sane person would say otherwise. So as you see, I’m not the one who needs to rethink “the meaning of life” here. That’s just another baseless assumption on your part.
The Bible is just a collection of scriptures. There are many versions, it’s an ongoing discussion which ones may have been altered, etc. While it’s not the Truth, you will find the definition of Truth in the new testament. There are general morals such as the 10 commandments plus Jesus additions.
That affirmation is wrong as respect is not a quantitative thing. It’s a quality. Prove me wrong if you can measure the amount of love a person can give. Please if you do, point to me to the relevant paper (peer reviewed).
Surely as baseless as your correct use of the adjective disgusting there.
Again, waiting for the peer reviewed research paper on your affirmation.
Spoken like a true cult follower.
Ps. If you read this Roy.
Love ya man ❤
So you agree the Bible contains verifiably false information? Good.
With regards to your objection on respect, I recommend reading more carefully next time. I know you theists are big on building strawmen, but you waste my time arguing against something I didn’t say.
As for the relevant papers and other material you ought to look into:
Individual differences in need for cognitive closure D.M. Webster
Beyond dogmatism the need for closure as related to religion V. Saroglou
Primacy effects in personality impression formation. Anderson, N. H.; Barrios, A. A.
Evidence that projection of a feared trait can serve a defensive function. Schimel, Greenberg, Martens
Asch e. (1951). effects of group pressure on the modification and distortion of judgments
festinger l. & carlsmith jm. (1959). cognitive consequences of forced compliance
on the failure to eliminate hypotheses in a conceptual task p.c. wason
perseverance of social theories: the role of explanation in the persistence of discredited information
The relation between intelligence and religiosity: a meta-analysis and some proposed explanations. Zuckerman M1, Silberman J, Hall JA.
Bronislaw Malinowski magic science religion and other essays
Relax. Let Roy enjoy his new life. Take your religious bigotry elsewhere.
As j.j. pointed out, this conversation shouldn’t be about us – or, should it? I am confident that, Khan, as a Christian, would also agree, as good news is not to be hoarded and kept a secret.
As a former musician in the Atlanta/Southeast scene from the early 90s (yes, I’m old and musically irrelevant), having “brushes with quasi-fame” that include working with more prominent musicians who have now been relegated to the likes of reality TV or dismissed from their respective bands because of a teenaged witch (no joke), I traveled quite a bit doing what I loved to do. The rigors of the road for someone of even my limited exposure, albeit great fun at times, were often monotonous, depressing, and excessive, ie. “Long Way to The Top” by AC/DC. I can only imagine the hardships that Khan endured to bring us his great music. Being away from family for weeks on end and the distance, not just geographically speaking, probably influenced his decision to apply the proverbial brakes. And as previously mentioned, his lyrical content was always riddled with spiritual content, possible evidence of a continued seeking.
As it relates to the existence of a higher power, Sunsetter stated:“That of course does not mean that SOME god does not exist, I’m open to the possibility – there’s just no evidence for it.”
I think it would be extremely interesting to one day hear or read Khan’s testimony, something that none of us can incontrovertibly dispute. Although not the proof of a god via physical, tangible manifestation, it perhaps would reveal and shed more light on a changed heart and a changed life brought about by the power of Holy Spirit working in Khan.
Just by way of your posts, it’s obvious that there is a high level of intellect. Sometimes it can be our own intellect that proves to be a stumbling block; a wall of worldly wisdom in which the idea or concept of a deity seems foolish and downright nonsensical. Believe me, I’ve been there.
I won’t attempt to systematically prove or disprove the existence God, nor cite scripture or point anyone in the direction of research/studies, etc., as I think it may only belabor the respective points of view which have already been made very clear. I wish we could gather around over a few beers or a good whiskey, as theology, or any subject for that matter, is best discussed and more enjoyable in that fashion. ( a matter of opinion, I know)
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
Peace to all,
Just to clarify, the church Roy attends is by no means a brain-washing sect or weird cult. It is your average lutheran church. You might of course consider all of christianity to be a weird cult. That is your prerogative. Going by the numbers, being a non-beliverer might be considered being part of a smallish sect too, by most of Earths population. 😉
I hope Roy will do more music, whatever the lyrics. Lots of christian bands out there that could use a singer like Roy. Looking at the lyrics of both Conception and Kamelot, it should come as no surprise that Roy is a man who has always had a strong spiritual side/longing to him. Check out Conception with Gethsemane. A great song that gives a clue to this side of him even back before he joined Kamelot.
It s been a long time but still miss U Kahn. Hope one day U read this .
Would buy any project from from U.
So much talent!!
Roy if you are reading this, we love ya man. You are truly an inspiration to many of us.
Absolutely true man.
He has an angelic voice
None like him.
What a blessed singer.
good story here, thanks.
When I did consider myself to be a Christian I was looking for a good band like Kamelot. It was depressing that there really is NOTHING like this in the Christian music world. THAT is what I would like to see for him, and I would listen even if it was Christian.
it is not Roy … on the second pic, first, where are his tatoo`s?? The real Roy has tatoo on both arms, second Roy is happy with hes family , wife and kids… And this guy on pic is smaller than Roy ans he dont even look like Roy are blind?
I am an atheist, but it does not matter what I think. If he finds happiness in his beliefs who are we to tell him what to do. He isn’t hurting anyone, so why does it matter? Hearing these two songs, I was just glad to hear him sing, cause I was sure he stopped altogether. I can see why he was tired of his life. It might seem fun for those of us who don’t experience it, but this way of life isn’t for everyone. I can only imagine the stress and pressure it comes with. Of course, there are much worse things in this world than being a rock star, but at the same time, I can understand why he left. Doesn’t make it any less sad, though.
Well, at least, he is happy and that’s a great news.
I will always appreciate, endear, honor, and eternally miss Roy Khan!
I will always appreciate, endear, honor, eternally miss and support Roy Khan – regardless of situation or circumstance!
I miss him so much..
I miss and always will miss Khan. So glad he’s well and happy. And if one day he decides to record music again, I’ll make sure to buy it, no matter genre or style.
I recently found kamelot a few years back. They are my favorite bad. Just want to say thanks