13 Greatest Classic Rock Bands That Changed Singers

13 Greatest Classic Rock Bands That Changed Singers | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Ozzy Osbourne in an interview with ABC11 - ABC11 / Youtube

There are bands whose lead singers are so fundamentally connected that they would, perhaps, crumble with the thought of replacing them— just imagine, Freddie Mercury being replaced from the original Queen line-up. One would shudder at the thought, of course, but sometimes, classic rock bands tend to embrace the risks of redefining the voices of their group since it might be a good choice for them. Whatever the reason for the singer’s replacement (creative differences, amicable choice of the singer to leave, death), below, we’ll take a tour of these 13 rock bands that changed singers, therefore giving them a whole new style to their developing music.


Michael McDonald for The Doobie Brothers

When lead singer Tom Johnston had health issues, it was time to replace him. Michael McDonald lends his voice, therefore, making the group as famous as ever.

Marty Balin and Mickey Thomas for Jefferson Starship

A lot had happened from the group that made a startling choice to hire Marty Balin as the new lead singer. But after his departure, Mickey Thomas from Elvin Blues replaced him, giving them a new pop approach, and scoring some chart-topping hits.

David Clayton-Thomas for Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Since the start of the band’s career, Al Kooper was the lead singer, until the members kicked him out of his own band. David Clayton- Thomas assumed his role, catapulting the group to mainstream charts.

Brian Johnson for AC/DC

These Aussie lads were devastated to know that their frontman, Bon Scott died due to alcohol poisoning. They were talking about breaking up but remembered that Scott would’ve wanted them to perform still. So, they hired, ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson for the role.

Stevie Nicks for Fleetwood Mac

The group was facing turmoil on who would be their lead singer until they met an American couple who agreed to join their band. With Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, all was best for them.

Phil Collins for Genesis

Peter Gabriel became a well-known singer from Genesis until he left to pursue a solo career. This led the group to assign drummer Phil Collins the lead vocal duties and catapulting them to even more fame in the 80s.

Rod Stewart for Faces

There were a lot of moving pieces after Steve Marriot left until they finally settled with Rod Stewart as the lead singer. They were once known as Small Faces, but they dropped the first word after Ronnie Wood and Stewart joined the group.

Justin Hayward for The Moody Blues

People thought that the group was nothing but a one-hit-wonder. Until, they re-emerged with Justin Hayward on vocal duties, giving them another shot at their fame.

Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan for Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath is easily associated with Ozzy Osbourne, but, due to his problematic attitude, he was fired. This led the group to hire Dio and Gillan on separate occasions until Osbourne came back to the group in 1997.

David Gilmour for Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was led by Syd Barrett until he can no longer do his duties after he became schizophrenic. David Gilmour replaced his old friend on his guitar & vocal duties, which then gave them the massive fame that they didn’t expect.

Sammy Hagar for Van Halen

Now, this group went through a lot of personnel changes for their lead singer when David Lee Roth left. The most popular one would be Sammy Hagar, who was just as much respected as Roth as their lead singer.

Ian Gillan and David Coverdale for Deep Purple

When Rod Evans left the group, Ian Gillan replaced him as the lead singer, creating hits such as their hit song, “Smoke On The Water.” After Gillan’s departure, David Coverdale from Whitesnake assumed the role.

David Freiberg and Gary Duncan for Quicksilver Messenger Service

Dino Valenti, known for his stage name “Chet Powers” led the group until he was imprisoned for marijuana possession. This led bassist Freiberg and guitarist Duncan to interchange their roles as lead singers until Valenti came back.