main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Vocal Tag Team
Pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a Vocal Tag Team is a band/musical act which features two (or more) lead singers, rather than the more typical singular vocalistnote . The singers may trade off vocals on a song-by-song or even a verse-by-verse basis, or they may just harmonize constantly. Particularly common, if not ubiquitous, in musical duos and vocal groups. If more than one member of a band is a songwriter, the band member who wrote the song is usually the one who sings lead on it. For songs that are credited to multiple writers, such as "Lennon and McCartney", a good clue as to who is the "primary" writer is who sings lead.

Note that this doesn't apply if one particular singer is clearly signposted as the "lead" singer and the other(s) merely backing vocals. Only if all singers involved get to handle genuine lead vocal chores (or if the harmonizing is truly constant) do you have a Vocal Tag Team.

There can be any number of reasons to do this. The various singers may have vastly differing vocal styles which fit into one song type or another. It may be simply for the sake of variety, or to give one singer a bit of a rest. It may be an effort to appease egos, or to avert Face of the Band. Or, if the band features a male and a female singer, they can engage in Silly Love Duets.

For a former backing singer (or a non-singing instrumentalist) suddenly getting lead vocal chores, see Step Up to the Microphone. Compare Soprano and Gravel.


    open/close all folders 


  • Alison Krauss And Union Station (Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, sometimes Ron Block).
  • The Bellamy Brothers (Howard and David Bellamy) split the vocals about 50/50.
  • Big & Rich trade the lead vocals between Big Kenny and John Rich.
  • Brooks & Dunn were this in theory, with album cuts usually split somewhat in Ronnie Dunn's favor, but plenty of turns from Kix Brooks. However, only six of their 50 singles had Kix on lead (and none after 1999), and his backing vocals are heavily buried or nonexistant on several of the other 44.
  • Dave & Sugar alternated the lead vocals between frontman Dave Rowland and the "Sugar" (a Revolving Door Band of two female backing vocalists).
  • The Farm (Krista Marie, Damien Horne, Nick Hoffman). Marie is a former solo singer; Horne, a former member of Big & Rich's songwriting clique, the MuzikMafia; and Hoffman, Kenny Chesney's former fiddle player.
  • Gloriana (Mike Gossin, Tom Gossin, Rachel Reinert; also Cheyenne Kimball until she left). Notably, their first two singles after Kimball's departure ("(Kissed You) Good Night" and "Can't Shake You") are duets between Tom and Rachel.
  • Heartland was originally a fairly standard six-piece band with Jason Albert on lead vocals, and two other members singing backup. After the band's membership was whittled down to just Albert and bassist/backing vocalist Chuck Crawford, a singer named Chad Austin joined. Albert was also experiencing vocal strain, so the band invoked this trope by making the other two members co-lead vocalists.
  • Joey + Rory (husband and wife duo, Rory Lee Feek and Joey Martin Feek) split the vocals on their albums, although Joey has carried most of the singles.
  • Most Lady Antebellum songs are duets between Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, with Dave Haywood playing several of the instruments. "Love Don't Live Here", "Hello World", and "We Owned the Night" are Charles only; "American Honey", "Downtown", and "Bartender" are Hillary only; and "Goodbye Town" is all Charles, except for one line from Hillary near the end.
  • Little Big Town usually gives the lead to Karen Fairchild, but all of the other three members have sung lead on at least one single: Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook split the lead on "The Reason Why" and "Your Side of the Bed"; Westbrook sang "A Little More You" himself; Philip Sweet sang "Bring It On Home" and "Kiss Goodbye"; and Kimberly Schlapman did not get to sing lead on a single until "Sober" in 2013. Also, all four members sing in various combinations or straight-through four-part harmony on "Boondocks", "I'm with the Band", "Good Lord Willing", and "Life in a Northern Town" (a live cover of The Dream Academy, featuring Jake Owen and both members of Sugarland also sharing the lead).
  • Little Texas usually gave the lead vocals to Tim Rushlow, but keyboardist Brady Seals sang a few songs, including their only #1 hit, "My Love." Brady was replaced by Jeff Huskins in 1995, who did not sing lead on the only album to which he contributed. The band broke up and re-established minus both Rushlow and Seals, and briefly had Steven Troy on lead vocals before guitarist Porter Howell got promoted to lead singer.
  • Lonestar started out with Richie McDonald and John Rich (see Big & Rich, above) as co-lead vocalists, although only one single with Rich on lead vocal got released. Coincidentally, said single ("Heartbroke Every Day") overlapped on the charts with Richie's guest appearance on then-labelmate Mindy McCready's "Maybe He'll Notice Her Now".
  • The Lost Trailers originally alternated between Ryder Lee and Stokes Nielson, but upon moving to BNA Records, Lee became the sole lead singer. The band then broke up, re-established as a duo consisting of Stokes and new lead singer Jason Wyatt, and broke up again.
  • Love and Theft alternate the lead vocals between Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles. Brian Bandas also served in this capacity on their first album.
  • Montgomery Gentry does this frequently, usually by giving Eddie Montgomery the verses and Troy Gentry the chorus. "Back When I Knew It All" had them alternate on the verses, with Troy still singing the chorus, while other songs just have only one of the two leading.
  • Even though Duane Allen is considered the lead singer of The Oak Ridge Boys, the other three most famous members (tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, and Basso Profundo Richard Sterban) have gotten their turn on lead. Notably, all four split the lead vocal on "American Made", Sterban sang a line on "You're the One", and Bonsall sang lead on their Signature Song "Elvira". However, this was mostly averted when Steve Sanders replaced Golden in the late 80s-early 90s, as Steve took lead on nearly every single except "True Heart" in that timespan.
  • Restless Heart invoked this on Big Iron Horses (1992) and Matters of the Heart (1994) following the departure of lead singer Larry Stewart, with the remaining members all splitting the lead in his absence. Most notably, drummer John Dittrich took lead on "When She Cries", a big crossover hit from the former album.
  • The Statler Brothers usually had Don Reid sing lead, but many of their songs split the lead vocal. Oddly, after tenor vocalist Lew DeWitt was replaced by Jimmy Fortune in the early 80s, they released several songs with Fortune on the lead.
  • Steel Magnolia (boyfriend/girlfriend Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey)
  • Thompson Square (husband and wife duo, Kiefer and Shawna Thompson).


  • Animal Collective splits their vocals pretty evenly between Panda Bear and Avey Tare.
  • Julien-K, in their early years, did this a lot between lead vocalist Ryan Shuck and keyboardist Brandon Belsky. Once Belsky left, his parts were picked up by drummer Elias Andra. Once Andra left, the backing vocal parts were played from recordings.
  • Helen Marnie gets a larger share of the lead vocals on Ladytron's records, but Mira Aroyo does a few per album, plus a lot of harmony.
  • The cartoon band Your Favorite Martian started out with vocals almost entirely by Puff-Puff (voiced by Ray William Johnson), but as time went along, guitarist Benatar (voiced by Jesse Cale) began singing more and more. About halfway through its lifespan of biweekly releases, the tradition of Puff-Puff rapping the verses and Benatar singing the chorus became more and more established. Benatar even sang lead the entirety of one song. By the end, Benatar sang just as much as Puff-Puff, if not more.


  • Most modern Boy Bands and Girl Groups do this: Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, the Spice Girls, Wilson Phillips etc.
  • America All three members (Dewey Brunnell, Gerry Buckley, and Dan Peek) shared lead vocals until Peek left.
  • Animotion (various, but always a male + female lead)
  • The B-52s (Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson)
  • The Bangles (all four of them) And, for the record, they were not able to avert Face of the Band by doing this.
  • The Beach Boys. Each of the five members of the "classic" lineup (Brian/Carl/Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine) sang lead on at least one Top 20 hit.
  • The Bee Gees
  • The Free Design.
  • Hanson. All three brothers sometimes take lead vocals, though 2007's "Go" is their only single to date that doesn't feature Taylor singing lead.
  • Human League (Philip Oakey, Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley)
  • The Hush Sound (Bob Morris and Greta Salpeter)
  • Jukebox the Ghost: Ben Thornewill and Tommy Siegel regularly trade off as lead vocalist every song or two.
  • McFly (Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones)
  • The Monkees
  • Tim Lopez steps up to the mic for The Plain White T's song "Rhythm of Love", although Tom Higgenson generally takes lead.
  • Roxette (Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle)
  • School of Seven Bells: Twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Dehaza shared vocals and harmonized on the band's first two albums.
  • Scissor Sisters: Jake Shears and Ana Matronic
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • Sonny And Cher
  • The Spice Girls: their songs often sound like a prolonged instance of Finishing Each Others' Sentences.
  • Starland Vocal Band
  • Tally Hall (Rob Cantor, Joe Hawley and Zubin Sedghi). Andrew Horowitz gets to Step Up to the Microphone at least once per album.
  • Three Dog Night featured three vocalists (Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, Cory Wells) backed by a band.


  • The Commodores at first had numerous lead singers, but they didn't achieve big success until Lionel Richie became their lead singer (he would go on to have a very successful solo career when he left the band in 1982).
  • The Everly Brothers
  • Hall And Oates (although John Oates' songs rarely make singles; the only exception was the Top 10 hit "Possession Obsession" in 1985)
  • The Jackson 5's songs would often see Michael and Jermaine Jackson trading vocal duties. Examples of this are "ABC" and "I'll Be There".
    • Jermaine quit when they first became the Jacksons, so there was less of this, but on the Triumph album, both Randy and Marlon each had a song where they tag-teamed with Michael, while Jackie had a song of his own.
    • Jermaine returned for the album Victory where he tag-teamed with Michael on the song "Torture," and the rest of the group had at-least one song as the lead singer.
  • The Righteous Brothers
  • Sam and Dave
  • The Temptations (David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick switched off as lead singers on many of their biggest hits, with gritty baritone and falsetto voices, respectively. The post-David Ruffin hit "I Can't Get Next To You" featured all five of the then-members of the group singing lead.)


  • The Beastie Boys would do this often.
  • EPMD took tag-team rapping to an art form.
  • M.O.P. do this quite a bit too. Clearly this is a recurring theme among rap duos with initialized names.
  • "As We Enter" by Nas and Damian Marley features some sweet old-school style tag-team rapping/toasting.
  • Run-D.M.C. employed this in "Peter Piper".


  • 10CC (all 4 members of the original lineup).
  • 311 (Nick Hexum and Doug "SA" Martinez)
  • Eric Woolfson is sometimes mistaken as the regular lead singer of the Alan Parsons Project, but in reality the group employed numerous lead singers (in addition to Woolfson, Lenny Zanentek, Chris Rainbow, Colin Brunstone, David Paton, and Jack Harris also contributed lead vocals).
  • Alice in Chains—Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley originally, now William Duvall.
  • The Band (Rick Danko, Levon Helm and Richard Manuel. Robbie Robertson wrote most of the songs but only sang a handful of parts.)
  • Barenaked Ladies (Steven Page and Ed Robertson — until Page left, but Kevin Hearn has taken duties on several Page vocals since then)
  • The Beatles (all four of them)
  • Black Mountain's psychedelic rock songs are mostly duets between Stephen McBean and Amber Webber.
  • blink-182 (Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge)
  • Blonde Redhead's Misery is a Butterfly. The two vocalists, female Kazu Makino and male Amadeo Pace, alternate between tracks — Kazu is the only vocalist on the first track, Amadeo is the only one on the second, Kazu is the only one on the third, and so on...until the tenth track, "Pink Love" — the climax of the album. Amadeo starts as the lone vocalist, for the verse, and then Kazu comes in to sing the chorus. They keep alternating within the song.
  • The Blood Brothers - Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney switch back and forth constantly, also switching between screaming and singing cleanly. There are only two songs in their catalogue where each singer has a "solo moment"; for Jordan, this song is "Johnny Ripper", and for Johnny, this is "Nausea Shreds Yr Head."
  • The Blue Oyster Cult saw two equally talented performers, Eric Bloom and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser not only trading lead and rhythm guitar, but also alternating lead vocal between them. (While Eric and Buck did 80% of BOC vocals, it's fair to say the other three core members all got a go too, so there were perhaps three reserve members of the tag-team)
  • Caedmon's Call - Cliff Young is the most prominent vocalist and has racked up the most lead vocals over the year, but his wife Danielle Young has taken more and more vocal leads over the years, to the point where half of Raising Up the Dead features her on lead vocals. Derek Webb has had almost as many leads as Cliff during his time with the band, and Andrew Osenga took Derek's place during his absence, with the two getting lead vocals a few times on the same album when Derek returned for Overdressed.
  • The Cars (Ric Ocasek and Ben Orr)
  • Cave In: Stephen Brodsky and Caleb Scofield. Though Scofield was a member since 1998, he first stepped up as a co-vocalist in 2005: They wanted to bring back some of the Harsh Vocals that typified their earlier material, but Stephen Brodsky was no longer willing to do them due to fear of voice deterioration, so now Scofield does all of the screaming and Brodsky handles the more melodic vocals.
  • Chicago: Initially the vocals were shared between Peter Cetera (tenor) and Terry Kath and Robert Lamm (baritones). Kath died and Cetera left, and they were replaced by Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff respectively.
  • Screamo/Chaotic Hardcore/Grindcore/Sludge band Circle Takes the Square builds their music entirely off this trope, with vocalists Drew Spezial and Kathleen Stubeleck often interrupting one another midsentence.
  • Cold Chisel had Jimmy Barnes as its frontman, but effectively had a second lead singer in guitarist Ian Moss — the former's screaming vocals contrasted nicely with the latter's more melodic tones. Many songs were either sung by Moss (e.g. "My Baby", "Saturday Night") or began with Moss singing and had Barnes take over halfway through (e.g. "Bow River", "When the War is Over").
  • The lead singer of Cream was technically Jack Bruce, but Eric Clapton got numerous lead-vocal spots (as did Ginger Baker, more rarely). "Sunshine of Your Love" actually features Bruce and Clapton alternating lines in the verses before harmonizing on the chorus.
  • The Cribs (twin brothers Ryan and Gary Jarman)
  • Crosby Stills And Nash (and Young)
  • Daemonic Angel: Branden Meyers performs all of the clean vocals. Hunter High performs the harsh vocals. Also an example of [1].
  • Damn Yankees (Ted Nugent, Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw)
  • The Mk3 line-up of Deep Purple were known for this; although David Coverdale was the designated frontman, bassist Glenn Hughes took lead on several songs and in some cases they alternated within the same song (e.g. Burn, Sail Away).
  • Despised Icon featured two singers, Alexandre Erian (who performed the lower death growls and pig squeals) and Steve Marois (who performed the more hardcore-styled screaming).
  • Divine Fits: Britt Daniel and Dan Boeckner
  • Dropkick Murphys (Al Barr/Ken Casey)
  • Eagles (pretty much all of them, at one point or another, but mostly Don Henley and Glenn Frey)
  • Everything Else (Matt Morley and Sam Black, both members of the duo)
  • Jyou is officially the lead vocalist of Exist Trace, but there are two songs ("Little Mary to utsukushimi nikushimi no Danube" and "GINGER") where she shares lead vocals with rhythm guitarist miko.
  • Fleetwood Mac (Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie)
  • In Fugazi, Ian MacKaye and Guy Picciotto generally divide vocal duties evenly. And, towards the end of their tenure, Joe Lally sang a song here and there.
  • The classic, five-piece line-up of Genesis mostly featured Peter Gabriel as lead vocalist, with drummer Phil Collins providing harmonies, unison leads with Peter and some counterpoint vocals. Phil got the lead on "For Absent Friends" from Nursery Cryme and More Fool Me on Selling England By The Pound, along with some sections in The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (notably the line in "The Colony Of Sippermen", "Where the raven flies there's jeopardy"). This familiarity with Phil's voice and his vocal similarity to Peter smoothed the transition when Phil became full-time lead vocalist in 1975.
  • Girlyman
  • Goo Goo Dolls have John Rzeznik (their recognized frontman) and Robby Takac. Takac actually handled the majority of the lead vocal duties before Rzeznik's voice caught the attention of record producers and he was asked to Step Up to the Microphone.
  • Grand Funk Railroad (Don Brewer and Mark Farner)
  • Daniel Rossen and Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear do this to the point that vocal duties are split evenly on every album.
  • Guster (Adam Gardner and Ryan Miller)
  • The Halo Benders' songs usually have Calvin Johnson and Doug Marstch singing at once: A lot of their first album God Don't Make No Junk even had them both singing entirely different melodies and lyrics over the same music.
  • Heart (Ann and Nancy Wilson)
  • Heatmiser: Neil Gust and Elliott Smith.
  • Heidevolk, almost everything is sung by both singers.
  • Yuusuke and Maakii (later Halca, when Maakii left) of High and Mighty Color. Yuusuke provided the rapping and/or growls, while Maakii/Halca sang the clean vocals. On some songs though, Yuusuke would sing clean vocals as well.
  • House of Heroes trades off between Tim Skipper and A. J. Babcock to the point where it's hard to tell who's who.
  • (Jefferson) Starship (Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick). Jefferson Airplane too, but the team was Grace Slick and Marty Balin.
  • Kansas started with Steve Walsh and Robby Steinhardt for their first several albums. After Steinhardt first left, Walsh and his replacement John Elefante were solo lead vocalists for a while. Walsh and Steinhardt reunited for 2000's Somewhere to Elsewhere. Bassist Billy Greer stepped up for one song on Elsewhere but was otherwise a backing vocalist until he got tagged in after Robby left the band again at the end of that decade.
  • Kiss (Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and occasionally Ace and Peter as well)
  • Lacuna Coil: Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia, female/male contrasting vocals.
  • Last Alliance: Ryusuke Anzai and Takahiko Matsumura. Shingo Sano and Hiroshi Ozawa often join in at times, with the former providing Harsh Vocals.
  • For their first few albums, The Lemonheads split songwriting and vocal duties between Evan Dando and Ben Deily. Deily left the band after this, and eventually Dando basically was The Lemonheads.
  • Less Than Jake: Chris Demakes and Roger Manganelli
  • The Libertines (Carl Barât and Pete Doherty)
  • Linkin Park One of the main hallmarks of their sound, especially in their earlier Nu Metal / Rap Rock centric years, with Chester Bennington doing most of the singing and Mike Shinoda doing Rap verses, backup vocals, and occasional Step Up to the Microphone moments.
  • The Mamas And The Papas
  • Man With A Mission (Tokyo Tanaka and Jean-Ken Jonny)
  • Mastodon: Brent Hinds, Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor.
  • Maximum The Hormone has got Daisuke (lead singer), Ryo (guitarist) and Nao (drummer) sharing the lead vocals on almost every of their song, using the mix of their respectively hardore, rock, and female J-pop sounding voice as part of their style. Ue-chan, the bassist, can also be heard on a few songs, and generally sings backing vocals.
  • Mike + The Mechanics (Paul Carrack and Paul Young)
  • The Moody Blues mainly has Justin Hayward and John Lodge, though Mike Pinder and Ray Thomas typically had one or two songs on lead vocals per album as well.
  • Mother Mother (Ryan Guldemond, Molly Guldemond, and Jasmin Parkin)
  • Now-defunct Canadian band Moxy Fruvous.
  • My Bloody Valentine has Bilinda Butcher and Kevin Shields
  • Nelson (Matt and Gunnar)
  • The New Pornographers. Carl Newman handles most of the leads, but Neko Case, Dan Bejar, and more recently Kathryn Calder have been getting their fair share of leads on each album. Plus there are several choruses on which they're all singing in unison without a distinct "lead". This is befitting their Supergroup nature.
  • Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel does this with himself in "The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1," to disorienting effect.
  • The early years of Nightwish has only Tarja Turunen singing, but ever since bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala joined, lead vocals switch between him and Tarja/Anette Olzon/Floor Jansen.
  • Nine Days (you remember, Absolutely (Story Of A Girl)?) did this, but nobody knows it because neither of their two singles had the second vocalist on lead.
  • Oasis had the Gallagher brothers. Usually restricted to Noel singing backing vocals, but Noel started singing lead vocals on some tracks from the second album onwards. Only "Acquiesce" and "Let There Be Love" feature both Noel and Liam prominently.
  • Paper Route's lead vocals were shared by T. J. Daly and Andy Smith, until Smith left in 2010.
  • Pink Floyd (Roger Waters and David Gilmour; in the early days, Syd Barrett; sometimes, Richard Wright)
  • Queen largely fits this trope; while Freddie Mercury was the band's nominal singer, everyone except John Deacon sang lead occasionally (although Deacon did write some of their most popular songs like "You're My Best Friend" and "Another One Bites the Dust").
  • The Rescues.
  • The Runaways: Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.
  • Basically all incarnations of Sebadoh did this, even though Lou Barlow was still widely considered the Face of the Band: Early albums had him splitting singing and songwriting with Eric Gaffney, later albums (after Gaffney left) had him splitting it with Jason Lowenstein, and a few albums in the middle had him sharing vocal turns with both.
  • Showbread was this, prior to Ivory Mobley's departure. Ivory and Josh Dies would trade off rapid-fire vocals within the same song, frequently alternating lines within the same verse.
  • Sister Hazel has Ken Block and Drew Copeland as their lead singers. While Ken sings most of the lead vocals, Drew has at least one song per album (except the first) where he sings lead instead.
  • Skillet: John Cooper, his wife Kerry Cooper and Jen Ledger.
  • Slot (Daria "Nookie" Stavrovich and Igor "Cache" Lobanov, with similarities to Chester/Mike of Linkin Park. Nookie does the singing, Cache takes care of the rapping while both of them have been known to share the screaming duties on occasion; for example, they both scream at least once on АнгелOK / My Angel.)
  • Sonic Youth, with Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon sharing vocal duties and Lee Ranaldo contributing vocals one or two songs per album.
  • The Spinto Band: On the many demo albums they recorded as a high school band, pretty much every member got a lead vocal at some point. By the time they were signed to a proper label, the vocals were split evenly between Nick Krill and Thomas Hughes.
  • Indie rock band Stars; technically male vocalist Torquil Campbell is moreso the lead singer than the female vocalist, guitarist Amy Millan, but both do sing frequently and their duets tend to be among the band's more famous songs.
  • Status Quo alternate between Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt on lead vocal depending on the song; when bassist Alan Lancaster was in the group he too took lead vocal on some songs.
  • Stereolab. While Lćtitia Sadier handled lead vocals and Mary Hansen handled backing vocals, they harmonized and played off each other so often that it was widely considered a defining feature of Stereolab's sound. That is, until Mary Hansen's death in 2002.
  • Straylight Run (their earlier works) had a brother/sister duo by John and Michelle Nolan. John was primarily the lead vocalist with Michelle providing backup or harmonizing vocals but they do have a few songs where Michelle sings lead ("Now It's Done", "Tool Sheds and Hot Tubs", "I Don't Want This Anymore").
  • Styx. Although Keyboardist Dennis DeYoung is the most recognizable voice in the band, he actually shared lead vocals with guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young.
  • Super Time Pilot - for most of their lone album Did We Happen To Begin?, Rob Potylo and Nikki Dessingue either harmonize or trade off verses. The exceptions are four tracks where Nikki sings alone, and one where Rob does. Oh, and far from using the male/female vocals for silly little love duets, they spend many songs acting like type 2 vitriolic best buds, for humor's sake.
  • Supertramp, in the beginning, had co-lead singers in Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson, often on the same song ("School"; "Fool's Overture"; "Rudy"). Richard Palmer-James was also tagged in for a couple of songs on their debut album and a cover of "All Along the Watchtower" during his tenure.
  • They Might Be Giants: Linnell and Flansburgh get about the same number of leads, as well as plenty of harmony and backing parts with themselves and each other. Sometimes they'll even tag-team on different versions of the same song.
  • Brazilian band Tităs is an extreme case: in the early days, out of the 9 members, 6 were singers. Currently, there are 3 (out of 4, not counting the hired drummer).
  • Regardless of whether the official lead singer is Bobby Kimball or Joseph Williams, Toto albums often featured songs where the lead vocals were either shared or performed exclusively by David Paich and Steve Lukather (and, more rarely, Steve Porcaro).
  • Although Bono is the lead vocalist, he and The edge have often traded off on various tracks by U2. Seconds, off the album War, being the best example.
  • The Velvet Underground had shared vocal duties between Lou Reed and Nico on their debut, and between Lou and Doug Yule on their last two, with additional guest spots for John Cale and Maureen Tucker.
  • Vertical Horizon did this in their early days, with their first album split evenly between songs sung and written by Matt Scannell and those from Keith Kane. Subsequent albums had fewer Keith songs, and by the time they released their breakthrough hit album, Keith was down to singing lead for just one of its songs. The follow-up albums consisted of all Matt songs.
  • Veruca Salt: Nina Gordon and Louise Post (until Gordon's departure).
  • Walk Off The Earth: Gianni and Sarah are the most common vocal team, but songs are also shared by Giovanni and Marshall, or Marshall and Sarah.
  • The Who, with at times both lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend singing. John Entwistle and Keith Moon did backing vocals and at times did a full song.
  • Wolf Parade: Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner.
  • X: John Doe and Exene Cervenka share vocals on half the songs and split solo lead vocals on the rest.
  • Indie band The XX: Romy Madley Croft/Jamie Smith.
  • XTC: Andy Partridge handled most of the vocals, but Colin Moulding sang lead on the songs he wrote.
  • Similarly to the Deep Purple example, Yes did this with Jon Anderson and Trevor Rabin during the latter's tenure in the band.

  • In the manga BECK, the eponymous band's lead singers are Chiba, who's influenced by hip-hop and punk, and Koyuki, who's more suited to ballads.
  • Finch and Christie from Chartbreak
  • In the original Knight Rider episode "Let It Be Me", Michael joins a rock group with his former lover Stevie. The band, being a direct analogue to Fleetwood Mac, features both of them singing.
  • In the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi, Jabba The Hutt's house band acquires a second vocalist for Sy Snootles to play off of.
  • Starting in Chapter 19 of Lucky Star After Story, original characters Chiyoko Sakamoto and Tomoyo Yoshida are the lead vocalists for the band "Red Roses and Blue Violets"
  • In A Mighty Wind, members of all the folk bands share vocal duty in each song more or less equally, though Mitch and Mickey is probably the purest example, being a couple who always sing duets.


  • Chas 'n' Dave's novelty song "Rabbit, Rabbit" features rapid-fire lyrical handoffs between Chas and (you guessed it) Dave. Later covered on TV by The Two Ronnies, to thunderous applause.
  • Da Yoopers. The lead vocals are most often the lead guitarist (Joe Potila until 1995; Jim Bellmore afterward), frontman Jim DeCaire, or keyboardist Lynn Bellmore if the song takes a female perspective. But just about everyone who has ever been counted as an official member in the Revolving Door Band has gotten a lead vocal at least once, except for Bobby Symons (drummer since at least the late 90s). Most of their albums have also featured local musicians on lead vocals.
  • Matt Morley and Sam Black are both lead singers for Everything Else.
  • Yuki Kajiura's band Kalafina (Keiko, Wakana, Hikaru, and formerly Maya). It is awesome.
  • Morning Musume and the other Hello! Project groups do this a lot. Special mention should be made of the track "Why" on Momusu'a 3rd -LOVE Paradise-, in which the lead vocal changes every syllable.
  • MOVE (Japanese electro/Eurobeat group) features the rapping of Motsu and the singing of Yuri in most of their songs.
  • Non-music example: Jason and Randy Sklar frequently switch in and out during their routine. Often finishing each others sentences, talking over one another, and speaking in unison for comedic effect.
  • Japanese punk band/theater troupe Strawberry Song Orchestra features a male harsh vocalist trading off and overlapping with a soprano singer and an alto.
  • Folk-rock/children's music duo Trout Fishing In America splits vocals about 50/50 between Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet, although Ezra usually does the ballads.
  • The Squirrel Nut Zippers split vocal duties pretty evenly between Jimbo Mathus, Katherine Whalen, and (until his departure) Tom Maxwell.
  • Irish folk group Planxty divided their songs between two main singers: Andy Irvine had a light tenor voice and specialized in romantic or tear-jerking songs, whereas Christy Moore's grittier tones were suited to comic and dramatic material.
  • Every single song released under the Sphere name includes all four members (Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Ayahi Takagaki, and Minako Kotobuki) singing on it.
  • Leela and Ellie Grace. Being only the two of them (though they were members of their parents' own band at one point).

Otis ReddingSoulThe Allman Brothers Band
Vocal Range ExceededMusic TropesVoice Types

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy