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Famous Bands That Changed Lead Singers

Updated November 6, 2017 27.8k votes 3.5k voters 122.8k views20 items

List RulesVote up the famous bands that were better after changing lead singers.

When it comes to putting together a killer band, it's all about the chemistry. There are so many groups that switched lead singers in the hopes of finding that *one* vocalist that could help propel them to superstardom—sometimes it works (Fleetwood Mac) and sometimes it doesn't (Axl Rose, please leave AC/DC alone). Whatever your opinion on these bands that changed frontmen, there's no denying that most switches were pretty controversial. From bands that changed lead singers for personal reasons, to bands that reformed once a founding member quit (and everything in between), here are the most famous bands that replaced lead singers. Do you prefer their music before or after the switch? 
  • Pink Floyd is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Bands That Changed Lead Singers
    Video: YouTube

    Lead Singer Change: Syd Barrett to David Gilmour and Roger Waters

    Syd Barrett was the original vocalist for Pink Floyd, but his erratic behavior, drug use, and alcoholism got him kicked out in 1968. That's when guitarist David Gilmour and bassist Roger Waters started switching off on lead vocals. The band's subsequent albums were hugely successful—Pink Floyd is now one of the best-selling bands of all time.
    Better after the change?

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  • Fleetwood Mac is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Bands That Changed Lead Singers
    Video: YouTube

    Lead Singer Change: Bob Welch to Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie

    Fleetwood Mac went through more than its fair share of lineup changes throughout the '60s and '70s. In 1971, Bob Welch joined the band as a vocalist and guitarist, but the era of Welch was short-lived. When Lindsey Buckingham was asked to join in '74, he made sure his girlfriend (Stevie Nicks) could come along for the ride—and that's when Fleetwood Mac started seeing mainstream success. 
    Better after the change?

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  • Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Bands That Changed Lead Singers
    Video: YouTube

    Lead Singer Change: Paul Di'Anno to Bruce Dickinson

    British metal band Iron Maiden changed its lineup on an almost monthly basis until singer Paul Di'Anno joined the band in 1978 and sang on Maiden's first two studio albums. He was kicked out because of his drug abuse in 1980. Bruce Dickinson joined the band in 1981 and brought Maiden its first number one album in the UK, The Number of the Beast. 
    Better after the change?

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  • Genesis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Bands That Changed Lead Singers
    Video: YouTube

    Lead Singer Change: Peter Gabriel to Phil Collins

    Peter Gabriel, the original lead vocalist of Genesis, seemed to care more about being a frontman than part of the band, which caused a lot of tension between him and the other band members until he quit in 1975. Drummer Phil Collins took over on vocals, and Genesis's first album without Gabriel was a huge commercial success. 
    Better after the change?

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