No one says rebellion like the infamous shock rocker Alice Cooper. His horror-filled brand of heavy metal and violent stage shows outraged parents for more than 30 years.
But what many people do not know is that since the early 90's, Alice Cooper has professed Jesus Christ as his savior. When asked by the British Sunday Times newspaper in 2001 how a shock-rocker could be a Christian, Cooper is credited with providing this response: "Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion!"
Alice Cooper, who sang about necrophilia and chopped up baby dolls during his concerts, said that although he continues to record and tour with a theatrical horror-style show, "My life is dedicated to follow Christ."
A chart-topper with the teen anthem "School's Out," Cooper – who legally changed his name from Vince Furnier – has been credited with paving the way for the likes of today's outrageous performers such as Marilyn Manson.
But he maintains that his act was never political or religious and always had "a sense of humor." He told 'HM: The Hard Music Magazine' that he was always insulted whenever he was accused of being satanic. Raised in a religious home, he still believed in God, although he was not committed.
That changed when alcoholism threatened his marriage. He and his wife, Sheryl, attended a church with a "hellfire pastor." Cooper said he became a Christian "initially more out of the fear of God, rather than the love of God ... I did not want to go to hell." Interviewed for HM's March/April issue, Cooper views his faith as "an ongoing thing."
"Being a Christian is something you just progress in. You learn. You go to your Bible studies. You pray," he said.
Although he originally tended to shy away from speaking publicly about his religious beliefs, Cooper has in recent years been quite vocal about his faith as a born-again Christian. He has avoided so called "celebrity Christianity" because, as Cooper states himself: "It's really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I'm a rock singer. I'm nothing more than that. I'm not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians". "So, don't look for answers from me".
Songs on Cooper's more recent recordings have hinted at his change of heart. He sees his stage persona now as "the prophet of doom," telling people: "'Be careful! Satan is not a myth. Don't sit around pretending like Satan is just a joke.' I think my job is to warn about Satan."
He no longer performs some of his older repertoire. Any song promoting promiscuous sex and drinking "gets the axe," he said. "I'm very careful about what the lyrics are. I tried to write songs that were equally as good, only with a better message."
Cooper told HM he answers his critics: "'I was one thing at one time, and I'm something new. I'm a new creature now. Don't judge Alice by what he used to be. Praise God for what I am now.'"