15 Bands That Moved On With New Lead Singers

April 2, 2018

A band's lineup often changes like players on any football team. Members come and go, and the core members keep the band going. 

If a band member gets replaced, usually it's either the gutiarist, the bassist or the drummer. It's not often that the lead singer is the expendable one, but it can be a very big deal when it does. Just like with Bon Scott and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, below are fifteen other artists that took on the talents of other frontmen in order to keep the band alive.

1. Van Halen - Sammy Hagar, Gary Cherone

In 1985, after the Van Halen brothers booted David Lee Roth out of the band and brought in the Red Rocker himself Sammy Hagar, everyone thought it was going to be a disaster. After selling millions of records, they proved everyone wrong. But after some disagreements between himself and the Van Halen brothers, he was out of the band in 1996. In 1998, Gary Cherone was brought into the mix, though their commercial success and his chemistry with Van Halen's fans didn't make as much of a hit as it did with Hagar. Hagar would briefly come back in 2004, and then Roth returned to front Van Halen in 2007.

2. Journey - Arnel Pineda

Steve Perry's voice helped bring Journey into the spotlight. But all of that came crashing down when he lost interest and quit the band in 1986. After testing the waters with a few other singers, the members of Journey were at the end of their rope for finding a vocalist for their band. Then after watching some clips of Arnel Pineda covering Journey on YouTube, the Filipino's life became a real Cinderella story after he was brought in as the official new lead singer of the band. 

3. Rage Against The Machine - Chris Cornell, Chuck D, B-Real

Apparently there was lots of rage going on within Rage Against The Machine between frontman Zack de la Rocha and his bandmates. After he left in 2000, Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Walk joined forces with Chris Cornell, who had split from Soundgarden and rebranded themselves as Audioslave. After Cornell parted ways with Audioslave, the three RATM members were without a singer again. Although de la Rocha reunited with the trio for a Rage reunion for a short stint, he could become replaced again with members of Cypress Hill and Public Enemy when they formed Prophets of Rage.

4. Guns N' Roses - Scott Weiland

Around the same time Chris Cornell joined forces with the members of Rage Against The Machine to form Audioslave, former Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland joined forces with Slash, Duff McKagan and Matty Sorum of Guns N' Roses to create the supergroup Velvet Revolver in 2002. The band's shelf-life was short, though. They would later break up in 2008.

5. Mötley Crüe - John Corabi

Mötley Crüe's life in the '80s was a ticking time bomb that surprisingly lasted longer than many would have expected. But once the grunge movement of the '90s crushed nearly any hair metal band's chances of survival, tensions within the band grew even higher. When Vince Neil eventually quit (or fired. Nobody really seems to know) in 1992,

6. Black Sabbath - Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan

After Ozzy was booted from Black Sabbath in 1979, nobody could have known that they could become even bigger with Ronnie James Dio. Two albums later, Dio left the band in 1983 and Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan was available. At first, a Black Sabbath/Deep Purple fusion sounded like a good idea. But after their album Born Again didn't resonate with fans, as well as their tour which was so disasterous that it inspired the mockumentary Spinal Tap, Gillan eagerly quit Sabbath and rejoined Deep Purple. Both Ozzy and Dio would rejoin Black Sabbath over the years before finally wrapping up with Ozzy Osbourne in 2017.

7. Stone Temple Pilots - Chester Bennington, Jeff Gutt

After original frontman Scott Weiland was fired from STP in 2013. Linkin Park's Chester Bennington was brouht into the mix to fill in his stead. But after Weiland's death in 2015, and Bennington's death in 2017, the remaining STP members brought in singer Jeff Gutt, who received much positive attention after his appearance on the reality singing show X-Factor.

8. Alice In Chains - William DuVall

When Layne Staley died in 2005 from a drug overdose, everyone thought that Alice In Chains was done for good. In 2008 Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez and Sean Kinney reunited for a benefit show with a few guest singers. By this time, they brought in guitarist/vocalist William DuVall to front the grunge giants with his first studio album with the band Black Gives Way To Blue.

9. Sublime - Rome Ramirez

The ska-punk rockers had recorded three studio albums for the death of frontman Bradley Nowell from a drug overdose in 1996. When the remaining Sublime members reunited in 2009, Nowell's estate sued them for touring under Sublime's name. Instead, after recruiting Sublime megafan Rome Ramirez, they dubbed themselves Sublime With Rome.

10. Live - Chris Shinn

After singer Ed Kowalczyk was sued by his fellow bandmates, both parties parted ways. Kowalczyk went solo and the remaining members of Live brought in Chris Shinn of Unified Theory to take over. Shinn recorded Live's 2014 album The Turn and remained with the band until Kowalyczyk returned in 2016.

11. Blink-182 - Matt Skiba

Since they first started, bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge would share vocal duties. That was until 2015 when DeLonge decided to break away from Blink-182 to work on his research of UFOs (which he takes very seriously). In his abscence, Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker brought in guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba into the lineup.

12. Judas Priest - Tim 'Ripper' Owens

If you are familiar with the plot to the 2001 Mark Whalberg film Rock Star, it was loosely based on the real-life story of Tim 'Ripper' Owens and his entrance into Judas Priest. Owens fronted a Judas Priest cover band in Ohio and was later recruited to front the real thing after Rob Halford quit in 1991. Although they put two albums under their belt, fans never really saw them as the same band without Halford. But in 2003, Judas Priest rose to glory again after Halford took back the mic from Owens and continues to tour and record to this day.

13. Queen - Adam Lambert

Eerily similar to both Tim 'Ripper' Owens, Jeff Gutt and Arnel Pineda, Adam Lambert was a contestant on American Idol where his first audition song was "Bohemian Rhaposody" by Queen. After rocking stages around the world as a solo artist, Lambert was brought in by the surviving members of Queen to take the world stage by storm as Queen + Adam Lambert.

14. The Cars - Todd Rundgren

The Cars took new wave rock by storm with Benjamin Orr at the helm before his death in 2000. When members Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes wanted to reunite with co-vocalist Ric Ocasek in 2005, Ocasek wasn't interested at the time. So instead, Easton and Hawkes formed "The New Cars" with Todd Rundgren on vocals.

15. INXS - J.D. Fortune

After Michael Hutchence committed suicide in 1997, INXS re-emerged into the spotlight when they started the reality show Rock Star: INXS where contestants competed to be the next frontman/frontwoman of the band. In the end, J.D. Fortune became the official new INXS vocalist, though only for one album.