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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Robert Lamm was the original singer, with Terry Kath adding his gruff baritone where appropriate. But the band that came to be known as Chicago really took shape when Peter Cetera joined up. Now they had a high tenor to go with Lamm’s mid-range and Kath’s lower baritone. Together, they formed a dynamic vocal counterpoint to the horns that blended with the band’s traditional guitar-based rock orchestrations. Chicago was a band that could go off in a lot of different directions.

The range is most evident on “Dialogue (Part 1 & 2)” from their 1972 album Chicago V. Lamm wrote the song, but Kath and Cetera sang it as a call-and-response duet, with Kath posing questions which Cetera would then answer. That was a wise choice.

Lamm had a very nice voice, capable of singing a wide range of songs. But it was a little bit generic. Cetera and Kath had the voices that stood out. By using all three, the band could vary the types of songs they did, even if they remained firmly rooted in the horns that gave them an immediately identifiable sound.


Peter Cetera: “Feeling Stronger Everyday”
Terry Kath: “Make Me Smile”
Robert Lamm: “Beginnings”


Like The Band, the Eagles first gained attention by backing up another artist. In this case, it was Linda Ronstadt. Shortly after that, they went out on their own and found almost immediate success. On their first album, all four band members contributed at least two lead vocals.

The band member who would eventually emerge as their most recognizable singer, drummer Don Henley, only sang two of the songs. They maintained a similar approach through their first five albums. By the time of the sixth, 1976’s Hotel California, the scales were beginning to tip. There had been some lineup changes, and Henley was assuming more artistic control and consequently, singing more.

By the end of their initial run throughout the 1970s, even new members like Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmidt were taking occasional leads. Walsh, in particular, put his stamp on later Eagles music with “Pretty Maids All in a Row” and “In the City.”  Over time, the formula may have shifted, with Henley becoming the primary vocalist and Frey also singing a lot. But the Eagles, regardless of lineup changes, never released an album on which all the principals didn’t take at least one lead vocal.


Don Henley: “Hotel California” (or, for you Seinfeld fans, “Desperado”)
Glenn Frey: “James Dean”
Randy Meisner: “Take it to the Limit”