Ray Gillen was a hard rock and heavy metal vocalist from New York City, of Native American heritage. He was briefly a member of Black Sabbath, who discovered him at a club singing for Bobby Rondinelli's self-named band in 1985. He helped Sabbath finish the short 'Seventh Star' tour as a replacement for an injured Glenn Hughes and recorded the original vocals for their album 'Eternal Idol'. This album's vocals were later re-recorded by incoming Sabbath vocalist Tony Martin, who would record numerous albums with them over many years, after Gillen left with close friend Eric Singer to join Badlands. As disharmony wore away at his relationship with Badlands, he went on to other projects such as Bobby Rondinelli's Sun Red Sun and Blue Murder.
Gillen performed background vocals on the Savatage classic 'Strange Wings' from the album 'Hall of the Mountain King'.
Ray Gillen passed away from complications of AIDS due to a longstanding heroin addiction on December 1, 1993. He was survived by his daughter, Ashley, who was born in July, 1984.
The original version of Black Sabbath's 'Eternal Idol' album featuring Ray Gillen's vocals was available for many years as an underground collector's bootleg, but has finally been released as a second disc to a deluxe edition of the album as sung by Tony Martin.