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Joey Belladonna

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Biography

Joey Belladonna
Biography
Joey Belladonna is best-known as the singer for New York City thrash metallists Anthrax during the most successful phase of their career (the mid-'80s through the early '90s), but the frontman has also issued several albums on his own after leaving the group. Born and raised in upstate New York, Belladonna (real name: Joseph Bellardini) fronted several mainstream rock cover bands, including one called Bible Black, and earning vocal comparisons to Journey's Steve Perry. When Anthrax was left singer-less in 1984, Belladonna was contacted and soon after was hired, although his melodic vocal style wouldn't always sit well with the group's hardcore fans (and eventually, his bandmates themselves). Regardless, it was the Belladonna-led version of Anthrax that issued such thrash metal classics as 1985's Spreading the Disease and 1987's Among the Living, which saw the group rise up from the underground and into the mainstream.

On the strength of such further gold-certified releases as the 1987's I'm the Man EP, 1988's State of Euphoria, 1990's Persistence of Time, and 1991's Attack of the Killer B's, the group became one of metal's top dogs, but friction was brewing behind the scenes as Belladonna was eventually fired by the band in 1992. Undeterred, the singer formed a solo project called Belladonna, which has thus far issued a pair of releases, 1995's self-titled debut and 1998's Spells of Fear. In 1999, Belladonna reunited with his former Anthrax mates for a cover version of "Ball of Confusion" for the group's Return of the Killer A's release, and signed on to tour with the group to support the album (with vocal duties being split between Belladonna and his replacement, John Bush). But the plan was scrapped at the last minute, with Belladonna returning back to his solo band. In 2002, Belladonna was interviewed for an episode of VH1's Behind the Music program, which explored the rocky career of Anthrax. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi