12 classic rock bands that featured more than two lead singers

Some bands find it necessary to replace their lead singer. These bands had multiple lead singers.
Three Dog Night in concert
Three Dog Night in concert / Watal Asanuma/Shinko Music/GettyImages
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They began as the Hawks, backing up Ronnie Hawkins in the early ‘60s’ Four Canadiens, and one dude from Arkansas. They played with Bob Dylan for a while before setting out on their own. Since they had spent most of their career backing up others, they kept the name generic. And they never elevated any member to be the new front man.

They all sang, with the exception of Garth Hudson, who just worked his magic from behind his Lowry organ. Guitarist Robbie Robertson, who wrote most of their songs, usually just contributed harmony. That left bass player Rick Danko, drummer Levon Helm, and pianist Richard Manuel to trade off lead vocals.

These three had far more distinct voices than vocalists from the previous two bands. Manuel had the widest range, capable of mid-range rockers and higher-pitched falsetto. He sang the first song on the first album – a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Tears of Rage.”

Helm came to the fore on the second album, and offered that distinctive southern drawl on Americana fare like “Rag Mama Rag” and “Up on Cripple Creek.” Danko filled the gaps. His voice wasn’t as powerful as the others, but they used that to good effect on some of his numbers, as on the standard “Long Black Veil.”


Richard Manuel: “The Shape I’m In”
Levon Helm: “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”
Rick Danko: “Stage Fright”