Strength In Numbers: 14 Classic Rock Bands With More Than One Lead Singer


Typically in a rock band, there is one lead singer. Sure there may be other band members adding background vocals and harmonies to fill out the sound, but those other members usually have a primary role other than singing. Of course, this is not a steadfast rule by any means. In fact, in the classic rock era the multiple-lead-singer setup was quite prevalent. And some of the greatest bands of all time have had more than one lead vocalist, where each singer is identifiable as a trademark of the band’s sound. As with so many things, it all started with The Beatles, where each member was a commanding vocalist in his own right (even if Paul McCartney and John Lennon handled the lion’s share of vocal duties). And the Fab Four laid the groundwork for a whole slew of classic rock bands that employed the ol’ multiple-lead-singer trick (to great success), whether we’re talking about The Band, Fleetwood Mac or Pink Floyd. Here’s a list of 14 classic rock bands with more than one lead singer that that dropped their egos and let the lead guitarist, bassist, drummer, keyboardist and tambourine player step into the spotlight and take the vocal reins on some of their band’s biggest songs.

The Band
The Canadian-American roots rock group combined the vocal talents of Richard Manuel, Levon Helm and Rick Danko on some of the band’s classics including “Whispering Pines,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “It Makes No Difference.”

The rock band utilized many of their band members for lead vocals, including guitarist/synth player John Curulewski on “Mother Dear” and guitarist James Young on songs like “Midnight Ride,” but they’re perhaps most known for the songs sung by keyboardist Dennis DeYoung (“Come Sail Away”) and guitarist Tommy Shaw (“Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”).

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