(Graphic: Nick Wanserski)

1. AC/DC (Dave Evans, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson, ?)

Prior to the mighty Bon Scott joining AC/DC, the Aussie rockers were fronted by Dave Evans for roughly 10 months, before he parted ways with the band. (Depending on who you ask, he was booted due to “jealousy” or disagreements with others in the camp.) Scott guided AC/DC to rock’s upper echelons before dying after a night out in February 1980. Enter vocalist Brian Johnson, who kept the band in arena-caliber shape for the next 35-plus years, until suddenly being forced to quit touring in early March, or else risk losing his hearing for good. To the delight or dismay of fans, AC/DC has vowed to keep motoring down the highway to hell with a new singer—inexplicably rumored to be Axl Rose—and finish out U.S. tour dates it canceled. [Annie Zaleski]

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2. Van Halen (David Lee Roth, Gary Cherone, Sammy Hagar)

It’s said there are two types of Van Halen fans: those who prefer original vocalist David Lee Roth, and those favoring the band’s tenure with the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar. Unfortunately, that binary approach neglects the times when both men have (sort of) played nice—see 2002’s “Song For Song: The Heavyweight Champs Of Rock And Roll” dual solo tour, which covered all eras of the band—as well as VH’s other lead vocalist: Extreme’s Gary Cherone, who took the reins for 1998’s Van Halen III and subsequent tour dates. Each iteration of the band has its pluses and minuses, of course: Roth’s charisma and charm make up for any vocal shortcomings; Hagar’s a more traditional rock ’n’ roll belter; and Cherone brought a snarling, aggressive edge to the band. With DLR’s relationship with VH rumored to be on shaky ground—see the recent solo tune “Ain’t No Christmas,” a morose breakup song, which he’s said is about the band—all bets are off as to who might be shrieking “Runnin’ With The Devil” on future tours. [Annie Zaleski]

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3. All (Dave Smalley, Scott Reynolds, Chad Price)

Formed in 1987 after Descendents vocalist Milo Aukerman quit the band for a second time, the band’s remaining members formed All with former Dag Nasty/DYS vocalist Dave Smalley. Though All would build a legacy of its own, for many fans it was—and always will be—the band guilty of not being the Descendents. In 1989 Smalley would exit the group, and Scott Reynolds would enter, only to leave in 1993 and be replaced by Chad Price. All would press on with Price well into the 2000s, disbanding briefly, and reuniting before the decade’s end. Though it still counts Price as its lead singer, All has played shows with all three vocalists in the intervening years, sometimes with two of them in the same night. It’s one of the few times where there appears to be little bad blood between the band and its assorted frontmen. Though perhaps they’re unified by having always lived in Aukerman’s shadow. [David Anthony]

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4. King Crimson (Greg Lake, Gordon Haskell, Boz Burrell, John Wetton, Adrian Belew, Jakko Jakszyk)

Guitarist Robert Fripp has been the primary creative force in King Crimson since the group formed in 1968, adapting his eccentric, experimental fretwork both to the band’s grandiose jazz- and classical-influenced progressive rock and to its arty New Wave era. Both of those incarnations featured strong voices, with Greg Lake (pre-Emerson, Lake & Palmer) adding a booming bellow to early King Crimson standouts like “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “The Court Of The Crimson King,” and Adrian Belew (fresh from stints playing guitar for Frank Zappa, David Bowie, and Talking Heads) bringing a nervous yelp to early ’80s favorites like “Frame By Frame” and “Neal And Jack And Me.” In between Fripp’s collaborations with his two most famous frontmen, he worked with a succession of singers for an album or two. The best of those was John Wetton, whose smoother sound—later to become massively popular when he formed the supergroup Asia—anchored the more avant-garde King Crimson masterpieces Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black, and Red. Lately, Fripp has followed the lead of other veteran rock stars and has hired an accomplished fan, former 21st Century Schizoid Band leader Jakko Jakszyk, to tour with King Crimson and help recreate what other vocalists have done. Jakszyk has yet to make his mark with the group the way Lake, Wetton, and Belew have. [Noel Murray]

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5. Stone Temple Pilots (Scott Weiland, Chester Bennington, ?)

Years of pent-up frustration and anger over Scott Weiland’s drug problems and erratic behavior caught up with Stone Temple Pilots in 2013: The other three members of the band—Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo, and Eric Kretz—took the unprecedented move of firing the late lead singer from the band he co-founded. What happened next was rather bonkers, however: Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington jumped into the group as lead vocalist for both live dates and new studio music. (Although the act initially had to call itself Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, it reclaimed the STP moniker after hashing out legalities with Weiland.) The new singer readily embraced his frontman role—in fact, he basically cosplayed Weiland onstage, both sartorially and mannerism-wise—before leaving at the end of 2015 to focus on Linkin Park. Undeterred, the remaining trio launched a search for a new lead singer in early 2016. [Annie Zaleski]

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6. GWAR (Johnny and Joey Slutman, Oderus Urungus, Vulvatron, Blöthar)

Aside from its first two vocalists Johnny and Joey Slutman, who simply left the band, GWAR’s history of lead singers comes shrouded in tragedy. Most notably, Dave Brockie (a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) died of a heroin overdose in 2014 after serving as the group’s Scumdogian leader for 30 years. Shortly afterwards, Kim Dylla picked up his torch as the blood-lactating Vulvatron, making history as the only female member of GWAR. Her tenure proved to be brief, however, as Dylla was soon kicked to the curb (probably by one of Balsac’s mighty hooves) for—according to lead guitarist Brent “Pustulus Maximus” Purgason—alcoholism. But because GWAR relies on an extensive mythology of sci-fi barbarism, the band has at least been able to fold each departure into its elaborate fictional backstory. When Brockie died, he got not one, but two official goodbyes: the first a standard memorial service for the human being and the second a Viking funeral for the monstrous alien warrior. Hopefully current front-alien—the antlered, uddered humanoid Blöthar (familiar to fans as former bassist Beefcake The Mighty) won’t be at the Norse funeral pyre anytime soon. [Dan Caffrey]

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7. Chicago (main vocalists: Robert Lamm, Terry Kath, Peter Cetera, Bill Champlin, Jason Scheff, Lou Pardini)

Chicago’s band bio is basically a long read—seriously, the official site’s history page is divided into chapters—in part because the newly minted Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers have had so many members cycle in and out of the group. Through the years, that’s led to plenty of different musicians singing lead vocals—some who’ve had a sizable influence, and others who’ve only had brief time in the spotlight. (Guitarist Donnie Dacus, for example, only sang lead on several songs on 1978’s Hot Streets and 1979’s Chicago 13 before departing.) Back in the early days, however, Chicago vocal duties were handled mainly by Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and Terry Kath; the latter died in 1978 after accidentally shooting himself. Several years later, session man Bill Champlin joined, and had his greatest exposure singing on the late-’80s hits “Look Away” and “I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love.” Meanwhile, Cetera had left in 1985 for a solo career, which opened the door for Jason Scheff to join Chicago and helm hits such as “Will You Still Love Me?” In more recent times, Chicago recruited keyboardist Lou Pardini to replace Champlin, allowing the troupe to continue touring with nary a bump in the road. [Annie Zaleski]

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8. Black Flag (Keith Morris, Ron Reyes, Dez Cadena, Henry Rollins, Mike Vallely)

By the time Henry Rollins auditioned to be the lead singer of Black Flag in 1981, the notorious Los Angeles hardcore act had become a brand, known more for violent club gigs and ferocious singles than for who was on the stage. Rollins would change that, bringing poetry, politics, and at-times-unwieldy musical experimentation into the mix, competing with the band’s equally ambitious SST labelmates Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, and Meat Puppets. But most of Black Flag’s most enduring songs—like “Depression,” “TV Party,” and “Wasted”—emerged during the era when guitarist/songwriter Greg Ginn was burning through vocalists. (Those years are captured well on the compilation Everything Went Black.) Keith Morris’ snotty beach-bum voice defined the early Black Flag, before he left to form Circle Jerks. Then Ron Reyes and Dez Cadena had brief stints at the microphone, making strong enough impressions that both have since played gigs with the band’s various post-Rollins revivals. Currently, professional skateboarder and post-hardcore renaissance man Mike Vallely is the singer for a version of Black Flag that’s back to representing an idea as much as any particular sound. [Noel Murray]

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9. Survivor (Dave Bickler, Jimi Jamison, Robin McAuley, Cameron Barton)

One of the best ’80s music trivia questions remains: Who actually sang Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger”? The answer is Dave Bickler, the AOR titans’ original lead vocalist, who sang for the group until voice issues caused his departure from the group in 1983. He was replaced by Jimi Jamison, who steered the band (and hits such as “High On You” and “I Can’t Hold Back”) until a late-’80s breakup. Here’s where things get weird: Bickler returned when Survivor regrouped in 1993, but was fired in 2000 and replaced by Jamison, who kept at it until Robin McAuley took his slot in 2006. Jamison then returned again in 2011, and Bickler too jumped into the fray in 2013. That dual-vocalist scenario lasted until Jamison died suddenly in October 2014, although Survivor liked the configuration enough to hire fresh-faced, 21-year-old Cameron Barton to fill the vacant slot. To add insult to injury, Bickler was fired again in early 2016. [Annie Zaleski]

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10. INXS (Michael Hutchence, Jon Stevens, JD Fortune, Ciaran Gribbin)

The death of Michael Hutchence in 1997 might have spelled the end of INXS—and maybe it should have. The popular band’s sultry, funky alt-rock was humanized and emblemized by Hutchence, a frontman with the charisma and chops to pull off everything from dance-floor anthems (“Need You Tonight”) to tender ballads (“Never Tear Us Apart”). Following a couple of single-concert ringers—Jimmy Barnes of fellow Australian band Cold Chisel in 1998 and Terence Trent D’Arby in 1999—Jon Stevens inauspiciously held the slot. But after the 2005 reality show Rockstar: INXS, Canadian JD Fortune became the lead vocalist of the group, an on-again-off-again affair that produced more controversy than interesting music. Irish musician-producer Ciaran Gribbin now fronts INXS; factor in Ben Harper’s vocals on the band’s re-recording of “Never Tear Us Apart” in 2010, INXS at this point might as well be a karaoke tribute act to itself. [Jason Heller]

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11. Deep Purple (Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, Joe Lynn Turner)

To the casual Deep Purple fan, only one of the band’s four lead vocalists matters: Ian Gillan. That’s not to diminish the work of Rod Evans, who, in Purple 1.0, elevated Billy Joe Royal’s “Hush” from a romantic ditty to an eerie stomper that could be about either love or death. And no disrespect to David Coverdale (who later formed Whitesnake) or Joe Lynn Turner, either. While they’re both formidable singers in their own right, there’s a reason why they only have four Deep Purple albums between them (the band’s released 19 total). There’s a reason why, time and time again—most recently in 1992—the group has kept coming back to Gillan, even as he repeatedly fought with them and fled for purpler pastures. There’s just no beating his yowl, its gnarled gusto equally suited for blues, heavy metal, and even musical theater. Not only does he sing “Smoke On The Water,” “Space Truckin,’” “Woman From Tokyo,” and loads of other iron-weighted hits—he even played Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album. How are the other singers of Deep Purple supposed to compete with the messiah? [Dan Caffrey]

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12. Anthrax (John Connelly, Dirk Kennedy, Jason Rosenfeld, Neil Turbin, Matt Fallon, Joey Belladonna, John Bush, Dan Nelson)

Some bands change singers at the peak of their careers. Thrash pioneer Anthrax, on the other hand, had already burned through three lead vocalists (John Connelly, Dirk Kennedy, and Jason Rosenfeld) before it even released an album. That debut, 1984’s Fistful Of Metal, featured frontman Neil Turbin; by the time 1985’s Spreading The Disease appeared, Anthrax was on its fifth and best known singer, Joey Belladonna, who shepherded the group through its mid-’80s-to-early-’90s heyday. His replacement, John Bush, had a more traditionally metallic voice as compared to Belladonna’s hardcore-inflected growl. Barring Dan Nelson’s brief time in the band in the ’00s, Bush and Belladonna have been trading back and forth over the past 25 years, although Belladonna seems to have finally reclaimed his spot at the helm for good. [Jason Heller]

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13. Foreigner (Lou Gramm, Johnny Edwards, Chaz West, Kelly Hansen)

It’s hard to imagine Foreigner’s anthemic gravitas and bombastic balladry without the voice of Lou Gramm. And yet, since 2003, fans of the band have had to do exactly that. The soulful vocalist behind such ’70s and ’80s hits as “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” “Urgent,” and “I Want To Know What Love Is” left the band briefly from 1990 to 1992, during which Johnny Edwards replaced him; a bout with a brain tumor in the late ’90s took him out of the game for a bit, but it wasn’t until 2003 that he left for good to pursue a career in Christian rock. Since then, two other replacements—Chaz West (formerly of Jason Bonham’s group Bonham) and Kelly Hansen (formerly of ’80s metal outfit Hurricane), have taken up his role. But as evidenced by Hansen’s first album with Foreigner, 2009’s Can’t Slow Down, trying to fill Gramm’s formidable shoes is no small feat. [Jason Heller]

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14. Discharge (Tezz Roberts, Cal Morris, Rat Martin, J.J. Janiak)

Discharge is so renowned for its favorite galloping, hyper-speed drum rhythm, an entire subgenre of hardcore—dubbed D-beat—is named after the band. But the group’s original singer, Tezz Roberts, helped formulate that beat; he drummed for Discharge until 1980, ceding the microphone to Cal Morris, who growled his way through the group’s most lauded releases in the ’80s. In 2003, Rat Martin, formerly of the British punk legend The Varukers, took Roberts’ place—that is, until 2014, when newcomer J.J. Janiak stepped up to the plate. Discharge’s new album End Of Days isn’t a high-water mark of the band, and Janiak sounds more constipated than outraged—but at this point, it’s remarkable enough that Discharge is keeping its scathing, politically outspoken beat alive. [Jason Heller]

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15. Journey (Gregg Rolie, Robert Fleischman, Steve Perry, Steve Augeri, Jeff Scott Soto, Arnel Pineda)

Journey’s name and sound are so synonymous with singer Steve Perry, the tenures of his two predecessors in the ’70s (Gregg Rolie and Robert Fleischman) as well as his two successors in the ’00s (Steve Augeri and Jeff Scott) are mere footnotes in the band’s illustrious history. Which is understandable; Perry’s epic virtuosity and anguished sensitivity turned Journey hits like “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” into towering classics. However, when the group’s sixth and current singer, Arnel Pineda, came around, Perry at last got a run for his money. Plucked from obscurity in his native Philippines in 2007 thanks to a YouTube video, Pineda became not only Journey’s new, young, heartthrob frontman, he was the subject of the 2012 documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. Journey’s legacy will always be bound with Perry’s, but Pineda’s compelling story and voice stand on their own. [Jason Heller]

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16. Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Rick Vito, Billy Burnette, Bekka Bramlett)

Named after its only two more-or-less consistent members, Fleetwood Mac is legendary for its internal drama. It began as an English blues band and, after enough lineup changes to warrant a separate Wikipedia entry, ended up as a hit-making, sonically ambitious Anglo-American soft-rock group with three singer-songwriters and a messy relationship history. The band’s original iteration was fronted by the gifted blues-rock guitarist Peter Green, with slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer contributing songs and vocals. For the next few years, Fleetwood Mac seemed to have a revolving door policy with singer-guitarists, and it wasn’t until 1975’s hugely successful Fleetwood Mac that it settled on its famous five-piece lineup of singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks, singer-keyboardist Christine McVie, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie. That lineup would hold for five hit albums (until 1987’s Tango In The Night), and since then, the band has cycled through departures, reunions, hiatuses, and long-forgotten replacement vocalists. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

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17. Black Sabbath (Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Walker, Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Ron Keel, Dave Donato, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen, Tony Martin)

With Black Sabbath undertaking its farewell tour this year, it’s hard to imagine the iconic band being fronted by anyone other than Ozzy Osbourne—although Ronnie James Dio’s stint with the band in the ’80s (not counting his fleeting return in the ’90s) produced a batch of heavy metal that’s at least as powerful as anything Osbourne every did. That said, Sabbath’s discography is littered with the names of the fallen frontmen who served on the group’s front lines, including Dave Walker, Ron Keel, Dave Donato, Ray Gillen, Tony Martin, and no less than two Deep Purple singers, Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes. Before Osbourne’s return to Sabbath in 1997, it seemed as though guitarist Tony Iommi was just throwing new singers into Black Sabbath like he was trying to plug a leak. Now, with Dio dead and the band on its last leg, it’s only fitting that Osbourne is gloriously going down with the ship. [Jason Heller]

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18. Iron Maiden (Paul Day, Dennis Wilcock, Paul Di’Anno, Bruce Dickinson, Blaze Bayley)

Even discounting Iron Maiden’s first two singers, Paul Day and Dennis Wilcock—which isn’t hard, seeing as how neither made a mark during the legendary metal band’s mid-’70s gestation—Maiden has featured three major lead singers during its 41-year existence. Paul Di’Anno set the pace with his blistering, raw-edged howl from 1979 to 1981, and Blaze Bayley, the former Wolfsbane frontman who manned the mic from 1994 to 1999. But it’s Bruce Dickinson, Maiden’s figurehead, who will always command the most attention. Operatic, exuberant, imaginative, and flamboyant, Dickinson has led Iron Maiden from the depths of metal cult-dom and into the mainstream, thanks to a soaring, melodic style steeped in mythological majesty. In any case, when you have a lead singer who’s also a licensed pilot and can fly the band’s jumbo jet on tour—as Dickinson has done, a feat captured in the 2009 documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666—you kind of want to keep him around. [Jason Heller]

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19. Yes (Jon Anderson, Trevor Horn, Benoît David, Jon Davison)

Jon Anderson’s unique, ethereal voice was one of the most catchy and accessible elements of the entire ’70s progressive-rock scene—which made it that much more jarring when, in 2008, Anderson was ousted from Yes. It wasn’t the first time Anderson had been absent from the front of Yes’ stage. From 1980 to 1981, Trevor Horn of The Buggles, the band behind the new-wave hit “Video Killed The Radio Star,” became the frontman of Yes, pulling off an intriguing reconfiguration of the group. Following Anderson’s departure in 2008, Benoît David—the singer of a Yes cover band—replaced him, and he was replaced in turn by Jon Davison of the prog band Glass Hammer. (In a twist of fate, Anderson was a guest vocalist on Glass Hammer’s 2007 album Culture Of Ascent.) Luckily, Davison’s virtuosity and elegance have not only served Yes’ classic material well, he’s done a credible job on the group’s new studio releases, such as 2014’s Heaven & Earth. [Jason Heller]

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