Roy Khan

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Roy Khan
Roy Khan.jpg
Roy Khan during a concert in 2007.
Background information
Birth name Roy Sætre Khantatat
Born (1970-03-12) 12 March 1970 (age 47)
Origin Elverum, Hedmark, Norway
Genres Symphonic metal, power metal, progressive metal
Occupation(s) Vocalist, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1991–2011
Associated acts Kamelot, Conception, Epica, Avantasia

Roy Sætre Khantatat (born March 12, 1970), is a Norwegian singer-songwriter. Commonly known as Roy Khan or simply Khan, he was the lead vocalist for the symphonic power metal band Kamelot from 1997 to his departure in 2011. He co-wrote most of Kamelot's songs with the band's guitarist and founder Thomas Youngblood during his tenure. Prior to joining Kamelot, Khan was lead singer for the Norwegian progressive metal band Conception from 1991 until 1997 when they disbanded.

Early life[edit]

Khan was born March 12, 1970 to a Norwegian mother and Thai father, and took both of their last names. Khan's maternal grandfather, Kåre Sætre, was a major influence on his musical aspirations, something Khan would state in several interviews. Sætre would later appear alongside his grandson on stage several times.

During his school years, he shortened "Khantatat" to "Khan" as he found it easier. Khan began singing at a young age, and at the age of 17, while in the shower at school, Khan was caught singing "Alone" by Heart by a fellow student and was offered to join his band. After graduating from high school, Khan studied opera for three years.[1]


After finishing his opera studies, Khan joined the Norwegian progressive metal band Conception, after its previous lead singer quit in 1991. Khan was selected after several potential singers auditioned. The band released several albums over the coming years before disbanding in 1998, a year after Khan left the band to pursue a career with Kamelot.

In 2005, Khan reunited with Conception and played at the 2005 ProgPower USA VI festival[2] on Friday 16 September and Norwegian Scream Magazine's 15 Years & 100 Issues Festival on Saturday October 1. Khan, guitarist Tore Østby (also known from the band ARK) and the rest of Conception reunited; at the time it was clarified Khan would continue to support Kamelot.


In 1997, Khan was recruited by Kamelot founder Thomas Youngblood after the band's previous vocalist was fired. Khan performed lead vocals on the subsequent releases "Siège Perilous" (1998), "The Fourth Legacy" (1999), "Karma" (2001), "Epica" (2003), "The Black Halo" (2005), "Ghost Opera" (2007), and "Poetry for the Poisoned" (2010).

Health issues and departure[edit]

In September 2010, Khan suffered a breakdown and collapse during final rehearsals for the upcoming tour. Initially the band chose to go on tour with a replacement vocalist,[3] but then later decided to postpone the North American tour entirely while Khan recovered.[4] The tour eventually went on with Rhapsody of Fire vocalist Fabio Lione.[5]

After speculation among fans and media that Khan was suffering from anxiety and depression[citation needed], Khan himself announced to Norwegian press that the reason for his collapse was a major burnout. He later revealed that he decided to quit the band already at this point, to prioritize his health and family, but in an agreement with Youngblood and the rest of the band, they would not announce his departure in case he recovered and changed his mind.

On April 21, 2011, Khan himself announced his departure from the band in his blog, with the band making the formal announcement the day after. In the announcement, Youngblood wrote that Khan had been given a lot of time to make the decision and the band respected it.[6][7]

On June 8, 2012, Youngblood, announced in an interview that he kept in contact with Khan after his departure. Youngblood stated Khan is in good health, and happy; he is working and remains in Norway with his family.[8]


With Conception[edit]

  • Guilt/Sundance (1995)

With Kamelot[edit]

Live albums
Live DVDs

Guest appearances[edit]

See also[edit]