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Corey Todd Taylor (born December 8, 1973) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor, and author, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the American heavy metal band Slipknot and the American alternative metal band Stone Sour.

Taylor formed Stone Sour in 1992, playing in the Des Moines area, and working on a demo. He joined Slipknot in 1997 to replace their original vocalist and has subsequently released five studio albums with them. After the first two Slipknot albums went Platinum, Taylor revived Stone Sour to record an album and tour in 2002. He has worked with several bands, including Junk Beer Kidnap Band, Korn, Disturbed, Apocalyptica, Anthrax, and Soulfly. Taylor was ranked at #86 in Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. He was also named the seventh greatest heavy metal frontman by NME. Taylor was also found, by VVN Music, to possess the second-widest vocal range of any known singer in popular music with a range of five and a half octaves. He was beaten only by Mike Patton (six octaves).

 

EARLY LIFE

Corey Todd Taylor was born on December 8, 1973 in Des Moines, Iowa. He was mostly raised by his single mother in Waterloo, Iowa, a place described by Taylor as a “hole in the ground with buildings around it”. He is of German and Native American descent on his father’s side, and Dutch and Irish on his mother’s side. In 1979, Taylor and his mother saw the sci-fi series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Before the series, there was a trailer for the 1978 horror film Halloween. Taylor said this “developed some sense of Slipknot in [himself]”. While Halloween introduced Taylor to masks and horror themes, Taylor’s grandmother introduced him to rock music, showing him a collection of Elvis Presley records from the 1950s to 1970s. He especially found songs like “Teddy Bear”, “In the Ghetto”, and “Suspicious Minds” to appeal to his interests the most, describing them as “good times”. Taylor also began listening to Black Sabbath at a young age, beginning with their early work.

Taylor, along with his mother and sister, lived at one point in an “old dilapidated farmhouse” which on days in late autumn would “look like Black Sabbath album covers”. By age 15, he had developed a drug addiction and had overdosed on cocaine twice. By this time, he was living in Waterloo, but later set out on his own and ended up at his grandmother’s house in another part of Iowa. She took legal custody of him and helped him buy musical equipment. When Taylor was 18, he left his grandmother’s house and went to various places in Iowa, Des Moines being a place to which he frequently returned.

In 2017, on an episode of Viceland’s The Therapist, Taylor revealed that he was sexually assaulted at the age of 10 by a 16-year-old friend. Taylor stated that he never told anyone about the incident until he was “probably 18” because his abuser “threatened to hurt [him] and threatened to hurt [his] mom”. At age 18, when Taylor was living with his grandmother, he attempted suicide by way of overdose. His ex-girlfriend’s mother drove him to the hospital in Des Moines and doctors were able to resuscitate him. He describes this as the lowest point in his life. Taylor first met his father when he was 30 years old, and now has a relationship with him, although he said their paths do not cross that often.

 

ACTING CAREER

On December 4, 2013, Taylor joined the cast of Fear Clinic. He played Bauer, one of the employees of the clinic who struggles to keep things under control when all hell breaks loose. He appeared in the 2013 horror film Bullied. In October 2015, Taylor provided the roars for the character of The Fisher King in the Doctor Who episode “Before the Flood”.

 

PERSONAL LIFE

On September 17, 2002, Taylor’s then-fiancée, Scarlett, gave birth to their son Griffin Parker. Taylor also has a daughter named Angeline from an earlier relationship. Taylor and Scarlett married on March 11, 2004, and divorced in 2007. On November 13, 2009, Taylor married Stephanie Luby at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.

Taylor has had alcohol abuse problems, which Scarlett helped him through as well as keeping him from committing suicide. In 2006, Taylor told MTV that he had attempted to jump off a balcony of the eighth floor of The Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard in 2003, but “somehow [Scarlett] stopped me”. This was later recanted by Taylor in an interview with Kerrang! radio and stated that it was, in fact, his friend Thom Hazaert who stopped him from jumping. Scarlett then told him that either he would have to get sober or she would annul their marriage. Before Stone Sour started recording Come What(ever) May in January 2006, Taylor was sober.

On August 3, 2009, he co-hosted the 2009 Kerrang! Awards alongside Scott Ian of Anthrax. The following year, they both once again co-hosted The Kerrang Awards, where Corey collected the K! Services to Metal award on behalf of Paul Gray, who died after an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl.

In early September 2010, Taylor announced that his book, Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good, would be released on July 12, 2011 through Da Capo Press.