The Top Ten All Time Best Replacement Lead Singers in Rock and Roll

Nothing pisses rock fans off worse than the lead singer of their favorite band being replaced. This happens across genres, but it's most common within hard rock -- pop, country and R&B vocalists' departures are usually a precursor to their solo efforts; very rarely does their band continue without them. Hard rock and heavy metal fans, on the other hand, see their favorite bands as a cohesive unit, so when a singer leaves, the rest of the band often make an attempt at continuing without them. Additionally, metal singers are more likely to storm off and leave a popular band -- they're apparently a moody lot.

We have lots of sympathy for the folks called in to replace departing vocalists. Oftentimes, tensions within the band caused the original vocalist to leave; the new singer is thrown straight into the lion's den. If the rest of the band accepts them, they must then overcome the hurdle of the fans' devotion to the original lead singer. It's even more difficult if the band found success with the original singer; the sound changes with a new guy (or girl), and fans, who became so attached to the original sound, don't even give the replacement a chance. Critics and music journalists, who should by all means be the voice of reason, are just as apt to drink the haterade; brief Googling produces endless lists of the Worst Replacement Singers Ever.

So, in support for the brave men and women who have dared attempt to fill the shoes of departing vocalists, we've collected our top 10 favorite replacement singers. Because replacement singers are common in hard rock, this list leans toward the heavy side of music. If we've forgotten anyone, let us know in the comments; please also feel free to rip our choices to shreds. We understand that this is your way of showing us you care. 

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Laura Mann