digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For the lead voice in counterpoint, see Hauptstimme.
Queen illustrating a typical band layout during a 1984 concert. Lead vocalist (frontman) Freddie Mercury stands centre-stage in front of drummer Roger Taylor and positioned between bassist John Deacon and guitarist Brian May.

The lead vocalist or lead vocal (or lead singer) is the member of a band who sings the main solo vocal portions of a song. The lead vocalist may also play one or more instruments, and is usually the "leader" of their group, often the spokesman in interviews and before the public. The lead vocalist is sometimes referred to as the frontman.

In certain types of music, notably soul and rock'n'roll, there is a line-up of a lead vocalist with a named group of backing vocalists (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Bill Haley & His Comets). Such line-ups can be very fluid, with both the lead vocalist and the backing group pursuing independent careers; and frequent personnel changes are not uncommon. While members of backing bands were often replaceable, the lead singer would be regarded as having a more marketable name and would have to hire or fire backing musicians at will. Cases of backing bands "defecting" to rival vocalists were rarer, but did happen on occasion as seen by Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Ambiguous lead vocalists[edit]

Some rock groups, such as Cream, Linkin Park, The Libertines, Alkaline Trio, Hollywood Undead, Less Than Jake, Jefferson Airplane, Eagles, Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, KISS, Blink-182, Hüsker Dü, They Might Be Giants, The Monkees, The Moody Blues, Mushroomhead, and Barenaked Ladies have or had more than one featured vocalist, making it difficult to establish a single "lead singer" or "front man."

Other bands, such as Queen, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Clash, The Doors, Oasis, Depeche Mode, Guns N' Roses, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Wings, The Cars, Styx, Status Quo, Animal Collective, and Crosby, Stills & Nash had, in addition to the designated "lead singer", one or more members who provided significant lead vocals in the course of the group's career.

While the lead vocalist often defines the group's image and personality to the general public, several bands, such as AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Alice in Chains, INXS, Boston, Three Days Grace and Helloween have changed lead singers and maintained the original band name and, to some extent, identity. Other bands such as Fleetwood Mac, Escape the Fate, Underoath, Journey, Judas Priest, Genesis, Anthrax, Rainbow, Rage Against the Machine, Misfits and Black Sabbath have gone in an almost completely different musical direction with the arrival of a new vocalist.


The lead vocalist of a band is sometimes called the frontman or frontwoman. This term "frontman" refers to being the most visible performer in a group, who is often, but not always, also the band's leader and spokesperson. While lead vocalists or spokespersons for any musical ensembles can be called a frontman, the term is used very widely in rock music. Since the position commonly has an expanded role from simple lead vocalists, there have been cases in which the frontman for a band is someone other than the lead vocalist. For example, while the lead vocalist for the band Fall Out Boy is guitarist Patrick Stump, the bassist and lyrics writer, Pete Wentz, is generally called the frontman, both in the media and by the band members themselves, since he represents the band in most interviews and contributes most to the band's image in the popular media.[1] Additionally, Dave Clark of The Dave Clark Five was the group's drummer, not the main vocalist (this role was fulfilled by Mike Smith). Another example is Angus Young of AC/DC, who is the band's lead guitarist, and co-leader with his brother Malcolm Young; while lead singer Brian Johnson (and before him Bon Scott) is the band's frontman, Angus Young can be thought to share the frontman position with Johnson, due to his on-stage antics and his role as the band's mascot, frequently featuring on album covers and promotional materials.

An example of a band with two lead vocalists is The Libertines, whose members Pete Doherty and Carl Barat sing lead vocals on an equal number of songs on an album; these two singers are also considered frontmen for the band. Pink Floyd also can be considered a band with two frontmen, as both the guitarist David Gilmour and the bassist Roger Waters sang and wrote most of the songs. In the beginning of the band's career, however, Pink Floyd's frontman and guitarist was Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968.

In several bands (such as Led Zeppelin, Queen and Oasis) the lead guitarist may share spokesman responsibilities with the lead singer. Usually, this is derived from that guitarist's specific role as a co-songwriter, co-founder and/or co-vocalist. The normal configuration of The Who follows this pattern. Also in some cases, there are two frontmen, such as Underoath, with singers Spencer Chamberlain and Aaron Gillespie (drummer) sharing vocal duties. Another example is Blink-182, in which vocal duties are split between bassist Mark Hoppus and guitarist Tom DeLonge. Hoppus usually carries out most media either by himself or together with DeLonge, while the band's other member, drummer Travis Barker usually remains quiet. Linkin Park has two vocalists as well, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, both considered as frontmen. Another example is the thrash metal band Metallica, in which James Hetfield (lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist) and Lars Ulrich (drummer) share the spokesperson duties for being both founders and the only members who have never left the band.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CARAMANICA, JON (December 12, 2008), "The Frontman in the Background". The New York Times. (accessed 2009-01-19)

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_vocalist — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
565593 videos foundNext > 

The Thick Lead Vocal Trick - TheRecordingRevolution.com

Download my free eBook http://therecordingrevolution.com/ Become my Patron http://www.patreon.com/recordingrevolution.

Video Interview with GWAR lead vocalist Oderus Urungus [Unmasked]

25 Years in the making and breaking of our stupid morals, GWAR comes to the stage with their latest offering of molten music, 'Lust In Space'. They celebrate...

Kelly Rowland Claims to be a Lead Vocalist for Destiny's Child


David Pack - Lead Vocalist of "Ambrosia"

http://www.seeyourmemories.com/index.html YTS Digital Films had the great pleasure of filming David Pack performing "Holdin' on to Yesterday" and "How Much I...

Interview with lead vocalist David Draiman from Disturbed and talking about his new band Device

New band, but same rockin' vocals, David Draiman's latest project is getting a deserved high praise. A few pics and interview while at Culture Room.

Staind Lead Singer Regulates During Rock Concert: 'Alright, Listen Up, You F*cking *ssholes...'

"The lead singer for Staind stopped the grunge rock band's concert Saturday to berate concertgoers who were inappropriately touching a crowd-surfing teenage ...

Journey "Original Lead Vocalist Steve Perry" Anytime - Live In Osaka 1980


Brad Arnold, Lead Vocalist, 3 Doors Down - PRS All Access

Brad Arnold started off as the drummer for 3 Doors Down, but moved to vocals when the band was signed. In this video, Brad discusses growing up with Chris an...

☆ [HD] SNSD & T-ARA (Part 2/6) - Lead Vocalist

READ DESCRIPTION BEFORE BASHING. PART 1 : http://youtu.be/2DyBL62vZIw PART 3 - Lead Vocalist #2 : http://youtu.be/g5SxAFPFh0o This isn't a comparison video, ...

QnA With Lead Vocalist Keith Kirby

Keith Kirby, Lead Vocalist of DIRECT APPROACH, receives an email from a fan requesting that he answer a QnA. So... Here it is! Follow our official fanpage: h...

565593 videos foundNext > 

1892 news items

Ultimate Classic Rock
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:00:22 -0700

Following the sudden departure of original vocalist Steve Walsh earlier this month, Kansas have named Ronnie Platt as the group's new singer and keyboardist. Platt's first show with the band will be on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma City, OK. “I want Kansas fans ...

Music Times

Music Times
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Today, July 27, marks the 35th anniversary of AC/DC's Highway To Hell, a hard rock classic that would be the band's last album with lead vocalist Bon Scott, who died after a night of heavy drinking seven months after the album's release. Here are ten ...

RTT News

RTT News
Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Kansas have announced that Ronnie Platt has replaced Steve Walsh as their lead vocalist. Platt, who most recently played with the Shooting Star Band, announced the news via Facebook: "I want Kansas fans to know, first and foremost, I'm one of them," he ...
Modesto Bee
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:30:00 -0700

VICKSBURG, Miss. — Rufus McKay, a lead vocalist for the popular dance band The Red Tops, died Sunday in Vicksburg. He was 87. River Region Health System in Vicksburg spokeswoman Leigh White says McKay died Sunday at the hospital. The cause of ...


Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:03:45 -0700

Jung Yong-hwa, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the band, gave a performance of beat-boxing and shouted "I love you, Taipei" when singing In My Head. The band, formed in 2009, also includes lead guitarist Lee Jong-hyun and bass guitarist Lee ...

Scene Queenstown

Scene Queenstown
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:03:45 -0700

The band, comprising also Sam Maxwell, 19, who's lead vocalist and bass player, rhythm guitarist Jacob Sheehy, 19, and drummer Damon Spijkerbosch, 18, has been together for almost five years. Jacob and Damon met at primary school and the other two ...


Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:33:45 -0700

Brockie, the lead vocalist of GWAR in the guise of Oderus Urungus, died on March 23 from an accidental heroin overdose. Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys will be the Master of Ceremonies for a memorial that will also include a tribute to Brockie's ...


Sat, 26 Jul 2014 18:41:15 -0700

The quartet, which also includes lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Hemmings, 18, and bassist Calum Hood, 18, can relate to the fandom. "We're more awkward than anything," said Irwin of meeting artists he admires like Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Lead vocalist

You can talk about Lead vocalist with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!