It was announced this morning (March 6th) that Queen was bringing American Idol alum Adam Lambert on board as its lead singer for a summer trek across North America.
While no one can ever replace the late, great Freddie Mercury, Queen has pushed on by inviting various guest singers on tour and in the studio with them in the past. For its last major world tour from 2005-2009, Brian May and Roger Taylor reunited Queen with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers as its new frontman. The new lineup even put out an album The Cosmos Rocks in 2008 before parting ways in 2009.
Soon after, Queen wound up playing with Adam Lambert on American Idol that year, which sparked rumors that he would be the group’s next singer. In 2012, Adam even joined Queen for six shows in Europe, and this past fall, they performed together in Las Vegas.
Now on the heels of the full-fledged Queen + Lambert summer tour announcement, we started wondering about other great classic rock bands that continued to record or tour with a new frontman at the helm. Of course, it’s always difficult being the new guy in an already established band (Rodgers can attest to that), but here are four other bands, like Queen, that carried on their success with replacement lead singers.
Phil Collins for Genesis
Collins originally served as the group’s drummer in its early years with frontman Peter Gabriel. However, after Gabriel left the group for a solo career in 1975, Collins stepped out from behind the kit and took over as the group’s lead singer. With Collins, Genesis released what many consider the group’s defining albums during the 80s including Duke, Abacab, Genesis and Invisible Touch, who’s title track because the group’s only No. 1 Hot 100 hit.
Arnel Pineda for Journey
Pineda is just the latest, but most successful of several frontman changes to the band over the years, and proved it is possible to replace Steve Perry. Perry (who actually replaced the band’s original lead singer/keyboardist Gregg Rolie in 1977) last worked with the group on a reunion album in 1995 following a decade-long hiatus.
However, after Perry suffered a hip injury in 1997, guitarist Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain hired Steve Augeri in 1998 as his replacement, who was later replaced by Jeff Scott Soto in 2006. Fast forward a year later, and that’s where Pineda comes in as the group’s current lead singer, who’s first album with the band, Revelation, debuted at No. 5 on the charts and reached Platinum status.
Sammy Hager for Van Halen
It’s been a long-debated dispute among rock fans; Roth vs Hager? Sammy Hager replaced original Van Halen singer David Lee Roth in 1985 after he left the band to pursue a solo career. Thus, the Hager-era of Van Halen was born and brought the group a string of four consecutive No. 1 albums starting with 1986’s 5150.
Brian Johnson for AC/DC
Following the tragic death of original lead singer Bon Scott in 1980, the group reformed with a new singer Brian Johnson filling in the big shoes Scott left behind. Johnson stepped in to finish the songwriting and recording of Back In Black that featured hit singles “Hell’s Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long.” which became the group’s first Top 40 US single.
Can you think of any other classic rock bands that continued on with new lead singers? Add them in the comments below!