5 Bands Who Replaced Their Singers with Sound-Alikes

There was a time when a band lost its lead singer and it was pretty much

assumed the band was finished. Sure, sometimes they were able to
change
directions or, in the case of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship,
simply change names.
Groups like The Temptations switched singers and
entered a whole new
era with their music, and Van Halen
pretty
much set the bar for success after losing a front man. Often
times,
however, the band simply ceased to exist and its members went
on to
other projects.

Then, sometime in the late 90s, bands
started to
realize they didn’t have to quit entirely when their
singer left the
group or (Gasp!) died, nor did they have to change
directions with a new
vocalist attempting a completely different
sound. They could instead
find a singer who sounded almost exactly
like the last guy and continue
on unscathed and, sometimes, be even
more successful. Well, faster than
you can say “Judas Priest”, there
was some other dude onstage in the
center spot. Below is a list of
five bands who replaced their singers
with guys who sounded pretty
close to the original.

5. Yes.
Yes was probably the most
successful Progressive Rock Group of all
time, with a career that spans
over thirty years. The band has always
been known for symphonic rock
and amazing live shows. At the center
of this ever-changing band has
primarily been Jon Anderson. Anderson
has left the band on more than
one occasion, and Yes has changed its
sound numerous times over the
years. In 2008, due to respiratory
illness apparently caused by owning a
lonely heart for twenty years,
Anderson left the group in need of a
permanent replacement. Enter
Benoit David, a Canadian singer from the
Yes tribute band Close To
The Edge. Found on youtube, David took over
in 2008 for some tour
dates and since has been chosen to record the
vocals for the band’s
next album.

4. Foreigner.
As front man of the immensely popular band
Foreigner, Lou Gramm has
always been known for his amazing vocal range
and onstage charisma.
Able to croon to classic ballads such as “Waiting
for a Girl Like
You” and belt out rocking tunes like “Head Games”,
Gramm had a voice
that was instantly recognizable. In 2003. Gramm left
the band
permanently to pursue his solo career and work more with
members of
his family. Foreigner replaced him with Kelly Hansen, a
singer from
several other bands who was also a professional session
singer.
Hansen’s voice was similar enough to Gramm’s to work on all the

classic hits, but also unique enough to represent the band on new
tracks.
The Hansen-fronted album Can’t

Slow Down hit #29 on the Billboard Charts, proving Foreigner
fans
seemed okay with the change.

3.
Boston.
Where would touring rock bands be without The
Internet?
Not only do they find fans online, they sometimes find their
singers
that way. Yes found their new frontman from online clips with a

tribute band, and Boston found one in similar fashion. Tragically,
Boston’s
lead singer, Brad Delp, committed suicide in 2007. The band
has
toured with several singers since then but, thank to Myspace.com,
found
the guy currently singing lead vocals. An employee of Home Depot
in
North Carolina, Tommy DeCarlo was a lifelong Boston fan who posted
online
recordings of himself singing some of the band’s hits. Asked to
join
the band onstage for a tribute concert for Delp, DeCarlo, having
never
fronted a professional band before, is currently on tour with
Boston
as lead singer.

2. INXS.

When singer Michael Hutchence died tragically in 1997, INXS
seemed
finished. The band toured with random singers for a while, but
seemed
to be history by 2001. In 2005, however, the reality show Rock Star: INXS brought them back
into
the spotlight during their televised search for a new singer. A
former
Elvis impersonator, JD Fortune won the contest, thanks in no part

to his ability to sound strikingly like Hutchence and recreate much of
the
singer’s inflections. Fortune toured with the band and recorded the

Switch in 2005, the first hit
album
for the band in years. Since 2008, however, Fortune has only been

in the band on occasion, most notably during performances at the 2010
Winter
Olympics, and the band is “officially” without a frontman.

1. Journey. Youtube to the rescue!
Journey
is a multi-platinum-selling band with legions of fans, thirty
years
of hits, and even a video game based on them. At the front of
this
cash cow was Steve Perry who, not even the original lead singer
himself,
had the distinction of helping push the band to the top of the
charts
and making everyone hate him at the same time. After years of
in-fighting,
Perry left the group for good in 1998 in a split that was
not
remotely amicable. For a while, Journey was fronted by, oddly
enough,
a guy also named Steve. Then, in 2007, the band saw clips of
Filipino
singer Arnel Pineda on youtube.com. Pineda’s voice was
amazingly
similar to Steve Perry’s and he had the pipes to hit all of
the
famous high notes on hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin'”. How did
fans
take to the new front man? They apparently loved it, as the band’s

2008 tour was the top seller of the year, raking in over 35 million
bucks.
The album Revelation
was
certified platinum, and the band went right to work on a second
album
with Pineda on lead.

Right now, in some basement, a kid is

practicing his vocals to karaoke tracks of Chad Kroeger, in the hopes
of
one day fronting Nickelback on their 25th Anniversary Tour. When
bands
like Styx and Kool and the Gang are touring with completely
different
frontmen than the guy who sang most of their biggest hits,
anything
is possible. Just the right youtube video can get it done
these days,
so you never know. Today’s player of “Rock Star” is
tomorrow’s…well…rock star.

About the Author ()

I'm a stand-up comedian, author, and director, currently living in Toronto. I tour all over North America and occasionally appear on TV and radio. I also write random articles and have a humour book out called "The Ultimate Bachelor's Guide". You can see

Leave a Reply