Ralph Michael Saenz (born May 17, 1965), better known by the stage name Michael Starr, is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the lead singer of the comedic glam metal band Steel Panther.[1]

Ralph Saenz
20170614-029-Nova Rock 2017-Steel Panther-Michael Starr.jpg
Starr performing in 2017
Background information
Birth nameRalph Michael Saenz
Also known asDavid Lee Ralph
Michael Diamond
Michael Saenz
Michael Starr
Born (1965-05-17) May 17, 1965 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OriginVan Nuys, California, U.S.
GenresGlam metal, hard rock
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, piano, harmonica, percussion
Years activelate 1980s–present
Associated actsSteel Panther, L.A. Guns, Ninja Sex Party, AFI

Early lifeEdit

Ralph Michael Saenz was born on May 17, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois. He is of Spanish and Swedish descent.[2] He was raised primarily in Van Nuys, California, where his father was a college professor.


Saenz was the lead singer for the David Lee Roth-era Van Halen tribute band Atomic Punks from May 1994 to December 2008, where he used the stage name David Lee Ralph. He formed the band with future bandmate, Steel Panther guitarist Russ Parrish. Saenz was briefly the lead singer for L.A. Guns, singing on the Wasted EP. He also has sung for the bands 7% Solution, First Cause, Long Gone, and Nightfall. The latter was featured on the KNAC radio sponsored Pure Rock compilation, with Ralph going under the name Michael Saenz.

Saenz appeared briefly in the 2001 film Rock Star, seen in the glass booth auditioning when Mark Wahlberg's and Jennifer Aniston's characters walk into the audition. He glares at the two before Wahlberg's character takes his turn to audition. He provided background vocals for AFI on the albums Sing the Sorrow and Decemberunderground [3] He formed Steel Panther in 2000 with Parrish under the name Metal Shop (soon changed into Metal Skool, then into Steel Panther). The band have achieved massive success all over the world.

Personal lifeEdit

Saenz and his actress wife, Jocelyn, live in Los Angeles, California. They have three children. Saenz received a PhD in English from University of California, Berkeley in 1991.[4]


With Steel PantherEdit

With Metal SludgeEdit

  • Hey That's What I Call Sludge Vol – 1 (2003) Compilation feat: original demo of Death To All But Metal

With L.A. GunsEdit



  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ From an interview with the Swedish magazine Hårdrock.
  3. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/ralph-saenz/648335
  4. ^ Hartmann, Graham. "9 Super-Genius Rockers Who Have PhDs". Loudwire. Retrieved 2019-08-10.

External linksEdit