Kim Bendix Petersen (born 14 June 1956), better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish rock musician and songwriter. As a vocalist, he is known for his powerful and wide-ranging singing voice, in particular his far-reaching falsetto screams. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for both Mercyful Fate and the eponymous King Diamond. He also plays keyboards and guitars on studio recordings but uses live shows to focus solely on his vocal performance. Diamond is renowned for his dark lyrical content and his story concepts. He is also known for his distinctive shock stage persona (in particular his black and white facepaint). He remains a huge influence on many rock and metal artists, including Metallica, Slayer and Cradle of Filth.
King Diamond’s first heavy rock band was called Brainstorm (1974–76), with Jeanette Blum (Jean Blue) on vocals and bass, Michael Frohn (Mike West) on guitar and Jes Jacobsen (Jesse James) on drums. Diamond left Brainstorm and began singing with local Danish hard rock band Black Rose. He began experimenting with horror-themed theatrics and shaping a malevolent quasi-Satanic stage persona. He left Black Rose and joined the punk-metal band Brats, where he met Hank Shermann. The two were soon asked to help Michael Denner (also formerly a member of Brats) with his own project, Danger Zone. This band included Timi Hansen, and the musicians would join with Diamond in 1980 to become Mercyful Fate.