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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So, do I have to go into this? See, if you’re of a certain age – meaning old like me – you know who sang every Beatles song. But there are a lot of people younger than me out there, and even though the Beatles have maintained a presence more than fifty years after they last recorded anything as a group, maybe this isn’t all common knowledge like I think it is.

For instance, the Beatles were among the first bands (the very first, according to some) who quite literally did not have a front man. The two guitarists and the bass player all stood on the same plane. This was probably the suggestion of manager Brian Epstein, who reshaped the band’s early image, but it fits the ethos of the band quite well. Since Paul McCartney was left-handed, he fit nicely at one mic with George Harrison, while John did get a mic to himself. And that may have identified John as the leader. But he wasn’t in front of the other two.

Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the original songs, especially early on, and they shared leads. At first, they would decide whose voice was better suited to the song, with John taking the harder rock numbers and Paul singing the more melodic ballads. That would change as they began writing more and more on their own.

Though they were still credited as a songwriting team, most later Beatles songs were primarily the work of John or Paul on his own, and as John would say if Paul wrote a song like “Helter Skelter,” he was going to sing it, even if John’s voice was a better match.

In the second half of the 1960s, the “quiet” one, George, began to write prolifically and began singing lead on his numbers. And Ringo still would contribute a lead vocal or two on every album, as he had done since the beginning. They sang rock and roll harmony better than any band in the modern era, and they each contributed multiple iconic lead vocals.


John Lennon: “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Paul McCartney: “For No One”
George Harrison: “Something”
Ringo Starr: “Yellow Submarine”