Kerry Ray King was born on June 3, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. His father was an aircraft parts inspector, and his mother was an employee of a telephone company. When he was a teenager, Kerry started learning guitar at Calvano's music in South Gate Ca. Russ Dismuke was his teacher. Kerry attended Warren High School in Downey Ca. where he would play during lunch hour and play on the weekends at the woodstock in Buena Park Ca as Slayer, covering Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest songs Kerry began his career in a Pat Boone cover band. Kerry moved to Phoenix, Arizona as an adult. He divorced once and had a daughter with his first wife; his current wife is Ayesha King. In 1981 King was trying out for the position as a guitarist in a band. After the session was over Jeff Hanneman approached him and the two began playing Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs with the session drummer. Hanneman mentioned "Why don’t we start our OWN band?” [Laughs] I was like, “… Fuck yeah!" King's trademark appearance, was praised to such a degree by Blender magazine, who included a tour of his body ink. King's acronym, KFK, was revealed to mean "Kerry Fuckin' King" in the January 2007 Issue of Guitar World. King currently resides in Corona, California.
In addition to appearing on Slayer's albums, he has also made several guest appearances as lead guitarist. While lending production to 1986’s Reign in Blood, Rick Rubin was also helming production of the Beastie Boys debut album Licensed to Ill. Rubin felt the track "No Sleep till Brooklyn" needed a guitar solo, so he called King to lay down the part. King has since commented that his playing ability "certainly wasn’t that of a virtuoso". "No Sleep till Brooklyn", whose title was a spoof on Motörhead’s 1981 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, was originally intended to feature King being knocked offstage by a gorilla in its music video though King refused. King replied, "If there’s gonna be anyone knocking anyone offstage, it’ll be me knocking the gorilla", which is what subsequently happened. King has reminisced that he thought the Beastie Boys were cool, although never having heard any of their music at the time. On Licensed to Ill, King also played the guitar solo on the song "Fight For Your Right (To Party)".
King contributed a lead guitar outro part to Pantera’s song "Goddamn Electric", which appeared on the 2000 album Reinventing the Steel. King’s rig was set up in Pantera’s bathroom backstage just after Ozzfest in Dallas, as the group still didn't have their own dressing room on top of not appearing on the festival bill. After King had finished the first take, Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell ran in and yelled "DON’T LET HIM DO IT AGAIN!" King tried again with the hope he would find a superior rendition, though the first take was used. King has also made several guest appearances in Marilyn Manson's "Rape Of The World" tour, joining the band to play classic tracks such as "Little Horn", "1996" and "Irresponsible Hate Anthem". Many fans noticed elements of King's own style used on these occasions. On October 21, 2010, the finale date of the Jägermeister Music Tour, King joined Megadeth on stage, at the Gibson Amphitheater in Hollywood, California to perform "Rattlehead" which was the first time in 26 years that King has shared the stage with Megadeth and Inan with his band.
Kerry King's first experience with a guitar was when he was a child. Early albums, such as Hell Awaits and Reign in Blood, featured a "wailing style" and "demented soloing often mimicking the screams of the song's victims." Steve Huey of Allmusic described his and Jeff Hannemans guitar solos as "wildly chaotic," and Thom Jurek, also of Allmusic, described his work on 2006's Christ Illusion as "create an intensely harrowing and angular riff that changes from verse to verse, through the refrain and bridge, and comes back again."