7 iconic bands who replaced their lead singer

27 September 2018, 17:33 | Updated: 4 December 2020, 14:50

Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Always a tough act to follow...

Earlier this week, it was announced that Wet Wet Wet were bringing in Liberty X's Kevin Simm to replace the departed Marti Pellow as their new lead singer.

But they weren't the first huge band to try out someone totally new, with mixed results:

  1. Queen

    Picture: Getty/PA

    Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor were always going to find it tough continuing without the late Freddie Mercury.

    They had Robbie Williams for a one-off song and then Free's Paul Rodgers for a few years, but in recent times, they've brought in Adam Lambert, who is one of the most flamboyant and talented singers around right now.

    While the band have yet to release a new album of material with Adam on vocals, they continue to tour the world to packed out crowds.

  2. Spandau Ballet

    Picture: Getty

    Tony Hadley shocked the world of pop in 2017 when he announced he was leaving Spandau Ballet to concentrate on his solo career.

    However, the band carried on, and brought in a much younger model in the shape of Ross William Wild, who previously appeared in a West End play with bassist Martin Kemp.

    See more: Spandau Ballet: The inside story of the bitterest break-up in pop history

  3. Wet Wet Wet

    Wet Wet Wet
    Picture: Getty

    Marti Pellow decided to leave Scottish giants Wet Wet Wet in 2017 to concentrate on his solo career. Could the band carry on without him?

    A year later, they announced they will be playing some shows with new frontman Kevin Simm, previously of Liberty X and the 2017 winner of The Voice UK.

    See more: Why did Marti Pellow leave Wet Wet Wet?

  4. Genesis

    Photo of GENESIS
    Picture: Getty

    It's easy to forget that Phil Collins wasn't always a singer, let alone the frontman of Genesis.

    It certainly helped that his vocal style sounded pretty darn similar to their previous leader Peter Gabriel, who left the band in the mid-1970s.

  5. Ultravox

    Simple Minds And Ultravox Perform At Phones 4u Arena
    Picture: Getty

    Ultravox started life as an experimental electronic band, fronted by John Foxx. However, he soon left the band for a solo career.

    It wasn't until Midge Ure stepped up as the new frontman that the band found chart success, as their sound went down a more melodic path with songs like 'Vienna' and 'Dancing with Tears in My Eyes'.

  6. Fleetwood Mac

    Fleetwood Mac
    Picture: Getty

    The Mac's original frontman Peter Green left the band in 1970, after suffering from drug-induced schizophrenia.

    The band had to totally reinvent itself, and drummer Mick Fleetwood invited Lindsey Buckingham to join alongside bassist John McVie and singer and keyboardist Christine McVie. Buckingham also insisted his musical partner and girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, also came in, and thus Fleetwood Mac was reborn.

  7. The Supremes

    Photo of Jean TERRELL and Lynda LAURENCE and SUPREMES and Mary WILSON
    Picture: Getty

    The Supremes were THE girl group of the 1960s, but when Diana Ross quit in 1969, it remained to be seen if the group could carry on.

    24-year-old Jean Terrell, the younger sister of heavyweight boxing champion Ernie Terrell, was chose by Motown boss Berry Gordy after hearing her sing in a club in Miami Beach. However, the group couldn't quite recapture their usual success throughout the 1970s.