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Vocal Tag Team

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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–McCartney", whoever sings lead on the song is a good clue as to who is the "primary" writer.


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.



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  • Alabama: While Randy Owen sang lead on 90 percent of the group’s songs (including each of their single releases), cousins and band mates Jeff Cook and/or Teddy Gentry often got at least one song per album where they sang lead. (Only on “Mountain Music” did they actually get Teddy and Jeff on a single release.)
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station (Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, sometimes Ron Block).
  • The Bellamy Brothers (Howard and David Bellamy) split the vocals and songwriting duties 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 non-existent on several of the other 44. They also did only two songs with both of them singing lead: a cover of "Folsom Prison Blues" for a charity album, and "Born and Raised in Black and White", a cut from their 1998 album If You See Her.
  • Chapel Hart (sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart, plus their cousin Trea Swindle).
  • Dave & Sugar alternated the lead vocals between frontman Dave Rowland and the "Sugar" (a Revolving Door Band of two female backing vocalists).
  • The Farm altered the vocals evenly among all three members (Damien Horne, Nick Hoffman, and Krista Marie), to the point that their album features four songs sung by all three (the single "Be Grateful" included), one song each from every possible two-person combination (Hoffman/Horne [lead single "Home Sweet Home"], Horne/Marie, and Hoffman/Marie), and at least one solo turn from each.
  • The Forester Sisters usually had Kim or Kathy Forester sing lead, but sometimes June or Christy would as well.
  • Most of Gloriana's singles were duets between Tom Gossin and Rachel Reinert, including their only big hit "(Kissed You) Good Night". Their debut single "Wild at Heart" was mostly Tom, with Cheyenne Kimball (who quit after the first album) singing two lines of the second verse; "How Far Do You Wanna Go?" and "Wanna Take You Home" were sung entirely by Tom; and "Trouble" entirely by Rachel. Tom's brother, Mike, only did backing vocals.
  • 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.
  • Hometown News (Ron Kingery and Scott Whitehead)
  • The vast majority of Lady A songs are duets between Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley (most notably their Signature Song "Need You Now"), although a few songs have only one of them singing lead.
  • Little Big Town was largely known for the fact that all four members (Karen Fairchild, Philip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook) alternate as lead vocalists, but since The New '10s, nearly all of their radio releases have been sung by Karen. On the other hand, their Breakthrough Hit "Boondocks" featured all four of them singing in polyphony.
  • LoCash (formerly LoCash Cowboys): Preston Brust usually takes the more upbeat material like "C.O.U.N.T.R.Y." or "I Love This Life" (their Breakthrough Hit), and Chris Lucas usually takes the softer songs such as "Keep in Mind", "Best Seat in the House", or "I Know Somebody".
  • Lonestar alternated between Richie McDonald and John Rich (see also Big & Rich, above) on their first two albums, although the only single release with Rich on lead vocals was "Heartbroke Every Day". After Rich was fired in 1998, McDonald became the sole lead vocalist.
  • 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 alternated between Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry. Many of their biggest hits (e.g. "Something to Be Proud Of") having one sing the verses and the other sing the chorus, while a few have only one of the two leading. Following Troy Gentry's death in September 2017 from a helicopter crash, Eddie has toured under the Montgomery Gentry name while having members of the road band take most of Troy's vocals.
  • Miranda Lambert's side project Pistol Annies rotated the lead vocal among all three members: her, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley. Some songs have all three sharing the lead, while others have only one of them leading and the other two harmonizing.
  • Marshall Dyllon, a short-lived country music Boy Band, rotated the lead vocal duties among all five members (Daniel Cahoon, Jesse Littletonnote , brothers Michael and Paul Martin, and Todd Michael Sansom). Sansom also co-wrote some of the band's songs and arranged the vocals.
  • Even though Duane Allen is nominally 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 enough lead vocals to qualify. Most notably, Allen sings most of "Elvira" (Sterban handles the iconic "oom papa mow mow" riffs), while "American Made" and "You're the One" rotate among all four.
  • Orrall & Wright alternated lead vocals between Robert Ellis Orrall and Curtis Wright.
  • Dolly Parton did this on the Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris in 1987. On the first one, Parton sings lead on four of the songs, and Ronstadt and Harris on three each, with the other two harmonizing in each case; the final track is a cover of the gospel standard "Farther Along" with all three sharing lead. The album's biggest hit, a cover of Nancy Sinatra's "To Know Him Is to Love Him", was sung by Harris. 1999's Trio II did similarly, with Ronstadt on four songs, and Harris and Parton on three each.
  • The Remingtons (Jimmy Griffin, Richard Mainegra, and Rick Yancey; Denny Henson replaced Yancey on their second album). Mainegra sang all the singles on their first album, and Henson did both singles from their second album.
  • The Statler Brothers usually had Don Reid sing lead, but many of their songs split the lead vocal. After tenor vocalist Lew DeWitt was replaced by Jimmy Fortune, many of their songs featured him on lead.
  • Steel Magnolia (boyfriend/girlfriend Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey)
  • Thompson Square (husband and wife Kiefer and Shawna Thompson). Between their two biggest hits, Kiefer sang "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" and Shawna sang "If I Didn't Have You", while some of their other songs have both of them singing lead.
  • Thrasher Shiver (Neil Thrasher and Kelly Shiver).
  • John & Audrey Wiggins (brother-sister duo). John sang lead on their only Top 40 hit, "Has Anybody Seen Amy".
  • Wild Rose, a rare all-female band in the genre, alternated between Pam Gadd and Pam Perry.

  • 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.
  • The Naked and Famous contrasts the female vocals of Alisa Xayalith with the male vocals of Thom Powers, and sometimes they sing simultaneously. Sadly, Powers was Demoted To Backing Vocalist on their second album as Xayalith became the de-facto frontwoman of the band.
  • The Prodigy has vocals split between singer Keith Flint and MC/beatboxer Maxim. The only other member besides them is Liam Howlett, who does everything but vocals.

  • Amaranthe's biggest selling point is the fact that they have three lead vocalists, doing a female pop style, a male melodic rock style, and another male extreme metal style, that go back and forth in every song.
  • As I Lay Dying, from An Ocean Between Us onward, had Tim Lambesis doing screams and growled vocals while Josh Gilbert sang cleans.
  • Atreyu: Alex Varkatzas and Brandon Saller
  • 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."
  • Cumbeast: Vehement Vescum, Jizz Jake and Cumshot Iirot
  • 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).
  • Swedish Avant-Garde Metal band Diablo Swing Orchestra has two lead singers, Kristin Evegård and Daniel Håkansson.
  • Dying Fetus: John Gallagher With Jason Netherton (1991-2000), Vince Matthews (2001-2004) and Sean Beasley (2007-Present)
  • Dyscarnate features Tom Whitty with Henry Bates until 2015 and replaced by Al Llewellyn.
  • From Ashes to New features rapper Matt Brandyberry and singer Chris Musser. They also have a third vocalist with guitarist Branden "Boo" Kreider, who normally does harsh backing vocals but occasionally gets some limelight.
  • Hacktivist primarily features rappers Jermaine "J" Hurley and Ben Marvin going back and forth. They're also a case of Soprano and Gravel, as the former's clean vocals contrast the latter's use of Harsh Vocals and Metal Screams. Additionally, when singing is needed, they have a third vocalist with guitarist Tim "Timfy James" Beazley who can provide sung choruses and/or additional contrast.
  • Heidevolk, almost everything is sung by both singers.
  • Issues: Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn. The former contrasting his smooth, poppy R&B (and occasionally rapping) vocals with the latter's harsh, aggressive screaming.
  • Killer Be Killed: Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato and Troy Sanders
  • Kreator in their early years had Mille Petrozza and Jürgen "Ventor" Reil as vocalists on a song-by-song basis. However, this became uneven over time (on their debut they were split 50-50 with vocals; after that, Mille began to take over the department); by the time of their fourth album, Petrozza became the band's only studio vocalist. They were both harsh vocalists but with very different approaches to it, Ventor being merely gruff while Petrozza was a little less gruff but he often went for straight-up growls and shrieks, although the latter were largely ditched after he became the only singer.
  • Lacuna Coil: Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia, female/male contrasting vocals.
  • Make Them Suffer has lead vocalist Sean Harmanis doing all the Harsh Vocals, while keyboardist Louisa Burton sings clean for contrast.
  • 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 hardcore, 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.
  • Misery Index: Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel
  • Nailbomb: Max Cavalera and Alex Newport
  • Napalm Death: Mark "Barney" Greenway and Mitch Harris
  • Ne Obliviscaris has two vocalists: Tim Charles doing cleans and Marc "Xenoyr" Campbell doing growls.
  • Of Mice & Men has Austin Carlile and Aaron Pauley. The former contrasting his harsh vocals against the latter's clean vocals.

  • 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 Bunnell, 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 Bee Gees
  • The Black Eyed Peas usually have Fergie and/or singing/rapping, but some songs have and/or Taboo rapping.
  • BTS, with their songs usually being structured with the rappers alternating with each other in verses and the singers doing so in the pre-chorus and chorus, with the roles being increasingly flexible and balanced. There are also rap-only songs (with the three rappers getting more or less the same time in to show off their skills separately) and vocal-only songs (also structured for the four singers to get their time to shine), as well as the solo songs each member gets in WINGS and the LOVE YOURSELF series, which as a whole are structured to tell the story of their respective Concept Albums.
  • 80s dance music girl group Exposé was comprised of three singers; instead of switching back and forth on lead vocals within the songs, their songs were written more or less like songs for solo artists and each would have one lead singer, with the other two providing backing vocals.
  • 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.
  • The 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.
  • Mc Fly (Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones)
  • Milli Vanilli: Rob Pilatus lipsynching to the voice of Brad Howell took lead for the "traditional" portions of their songs, while Fab Morvan lipsynching to John Davis (or Charles Shaw on their first single) took lead on the rap verses and provided backup during the choruses. Female vocalists Jodie and Linda Rocco also sometimes took lead for portions of a song, as in "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You."
  • The Monkees
  • *NSYNC's lead vocalists were Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez.
  • PMMP (Paula Vesala and Mira Luoti)
  • Of Monsters and Men has Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar "Raggi" Þórhallsson going back-and-forth in most songs.
  • 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.
  • t.A.T.u. (Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova)
  • Three Dog Night featured three vocalists (Danny Hutton, Chuck Negron, Cory Wells) backed by a band.
  • Vremya i Steklo (Nadya Dorofeeva and Alexey Zavgorodniy)
  • 5sta Family

  • 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 (though Daryl Hall handled the vast majority of vocals on singles. The exceptions include Possession Obsession, the baritone parts on You've Lost That Loving Feeling, parts of She's Gone and a handful of others. )
  • 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.
  • Public Enemy has focused superego Chuck D and clownish id Flavor Flav.
  • Run–D.M.C. employed this in "Peter Piper".
  • Hollywood Undead has all five members (Charlie Scene, Johnny 3 Tears, Funny Man, J-Dog, and Danny) contributing vocals. Usually one song has two, three, or even four rappers while one sings the chorus. Charlie Scene usually takes part in the party-oriented songs, Johnny 3 Tears is mostly found the more serious tracks, Funny Man often does the party tracks alongside Charlie Scene, J-Dog usually does the more fast-paced songs, and Danny sings the choruses. When Da Kurlzz was in the band, he didn’t rap much (instead providing Harsh Vocals and Metal Screams).

  • 10cc (all 4 members of the original lineup).
  • 311 (Nick Hexum and Doug "SA" Martinez)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis and John Frusciante did this a lot, especially from Californication onward. This was after Kiedis felt guilty about ignoring the guitarist after the release of their breakout album Blood Sugar Sex Magik, so he let Frusciante Step Up to the Microphone on a few occasions and layer his backing vocals.
  • 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 Zakatek, Chris Rainbow, Colin Blunstone, David Paton, and Jack Harris also contributed lead vocals).
  • Alice in Chains — Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley originally, now William Duvall.
  • Arcade Fire has husband-and-wife tag team Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, who trade lead vocals song-by-song (Sprawl I, Sprawl II), verse-by-verse (Black Wave/Bad Vibrations), and line-by-line (Hey Orpheus, The Well and The Lighthouse). They also harmonise (The Suburbs (continued) among many others), along with backing vocals from the rest of the band.
  • The Band: Rick Danko, Levon Helm, and Richard Manuel all sang, either highly distinctive leads or rough and ragged harmonies. Robbie Robertson wrote most of the songs but wasn't much of a singer, only singing the occasional live backing vocal. Helm's autobiography mentions that they'd usually leave his mic turned off without him knowing.
  • Band-Maid (Saiki Atsumi and Miku Kobato)
  • Barenaked Ladies (For their first 20 years, Steven Page and Ed Robertson were the primary vocalists, with Page considered the lead vocalist, taking most of the "solo only" numbers, with Robertson joining him for a number of Vocal Tag Team songs. Jim Creeggan, his brother Andy and later Kevin Hearn would do the occasional lead vocal. Since Page left, they don't employ this much, unless they're covering one of their old songs, in which case Hearn mostly takes Page's parts._
  • The Beach Boys had every member sing at least one song, with the possible exception of David Marks, who only sang co-lead on one song (A cover of "Summertime Blues" with Carl on Surfin' Safari) as well as live.
  • The Beatles, besides employing vocal harmonies in the vast majority of their songs, usually had Paul McCartney and John Lennon switching out lead vocal roles. George Harrison and Ringo Starr, while not as frequently as Paul and John, still sung lead every now and then as well.
  • Beastie Boys
  • Black Mountain's psychedelic rock songs are mostly duets between Stephen McBean and Amber Webber.
  • blink-182 (Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge originally, now Matt Skiba)
  • 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 Blue Öyster Cult saw two equally talented performers, Eric Bloom and "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.
  • Caravan: On albums with Richard Sinclair, he tends to sing the lower parts, with Pye Hastings singing the higher notes.
  • The Cars - Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr, a baritone and a tenor respectively. Usually Ben sang the more melodic songs and Ric the quirkier songs, but there are exceptions in both cases, like Ric singing "I'm Not The One" on Shake It Up and Ben singing "Don't Tell Me No" on Panorama. After Ben's death in 2000, the reunion album and tour Move Like This featured Ric singing all old and new songs. Ric wrote or co-wrote all The Cars' songs but was still known to say, "If a song needed a good voice, it would go to Ben."
  • 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.
  • All the members of Chameleon Circuit, with the exception of sound engineer Michael Aranda.
  • 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.
    • Trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow also sang on a few album tracks.
  • 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.
  • With The Clash the lead vocals were generally taken by Joe Strummer (baritone) or Mick Jones (tenor), but there were several Step Up to the Microphone moments from bassist Paul Simonon and at least one by drummer Topper Headon.
  • CN Blue has the main vocalist Jung Yonghwa and subvocalist Lee Jonghyun. Sometimes Yonghwa sings most of the song, sometimes both sing equal amounts - either way a song without Jonghyun singing in it is rare if not non-existent.
  • 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, Nash & Young
  • Daemonic Angel: Branden Meyers performs all of the clean vocals. Hunter High performs the harsh vocals. Also an example of Soprano and Gravel.
  • Damn Yankees (Ted Nugent, Jack Blades, and Tommy Shaw)
  • The Delgados have two vocalists, Alun Woodward, and Emma Pollock, who share the songs between them and sometimes form a harmony. Their perhaps better-known album Hate alternates songs between them as vocalists.
  • 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.
  • Faces had Rod Stewart trading lead vocals with bassist Ronnie Lane.
  • Fleetwood Mac's classic "Rumours" lineup: Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.
  • While FT Island's main vocalist Lee Hongki sings many of their songs by himself, other times there are equal or near-equal line-distributions between him and the other vocalists Lee Jaejin and Song Seunghyun (especially Jaejin).
  • 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 had guitarist Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer sharing vocal duties.
  • 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.
  • 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 Airplane featured Grace Slick and Marty Balin. When the band reformed in The '70s as Jefferson Starship it was Grace Slick and Paul Kantner and later Mickey Thomas; the Thomas/Slick team continued into The '80s when the band became "Starship" up until Slick (briefly) rejoined Jefferson Airplane, at which point Starship became "Mickey Thomas' Starship".
  • 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. Currently, it's Billy Greer and Walsh's replacement Ronnie Platt.
  • King's X are built on this premise. Although Lead Bassist Doug "dUg" Pinnick sings lead on most King's X songs, guitarist Ty Tabor takes the lead for a good number of his own tunes, and on a few occasions even drummer Jerry Gaskill sings lead. What's truly a trademark of this long-running band, however, is their almost ubiquitous vocal harmony singing, with "aaaaaaahhhhhhhh"'s and everything.
  • KISS (Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, and occasionally Ace and Peter as well)
  • 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.
  • Lostprophets had Ian Watkins do the clean vocals and Jamie Oliver did most of the screaming.
  • The Mamas And The Papas
  • Man With a Mission (Tokyo Tanaka and Jean-Ken Jonny)
  • Mike + The Mechanics (Paul Carrack and Paul Young)
  • The Moldy Peaches: Adam Green and Kimya Dawson. A lot of the time, they would trade off vocals within a song or harmonize, but there were also songs where one or the other would sing alone. An unusual variation is "Steak For Chicken", where they spend most of the verses singing entirely different lyrics at the same time, joining back together on every chorus.
  • 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. A.C. 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," 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, and many songs have shared vocals. Some examples: Taylor/Mercury on "Coming Soon", May/Mercury on "Who Wants to Live Forever", Mercury/David Bowie on "Under Pressure" (where they each wrote their own lines).
  • The Radiators (US): Ed Volker and Dave Malone divide the vocals up about 50/50. Ed usually sings the more "New Orleans-y" songs, while Dave sings more of the rockers. On some songs, they alternate verses or one sings the verses while the other sings the chorus.
  • Rancid: Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman, and Lars Frederiksen
  • The Raveonettes are Sharin Foo and Sune Rose Wagner. Usually, they share the vocals in a two-part harmony, but sometimes one will have more focus than the other.
  • The Rescues.
  • Early punk band The Rezillos had two lead vocalists — Eugene Reynolds and Fay Fife — who traded off from song to song. And guitarist John Callis joined in on backing vocals.
  • The Runaways: Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.
  • School of Seven Bells had twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza harmonizing all over their first two albums. When Claudia left, Alejandra became a Self-Backing Vocalist.
  • 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.
    • Bob Fay, Eric's replacement for a few years, sang some songs (most notably the 7-minute "Mind Meld", one of the band's longest songs). Russ Pollard, Bob's replacement for a few years, also sang a few songs. The current drummer, Bob D'Amico, does not sing.
  • 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 is the primary lead vocalist, but since drummer Jen Ledger joined the band in 2008 she gets several songs where she shares lead vocals with John, which have only increased in frequency. John's wife Korey also had lead vocals when she first joined the band, but she's largely been a backing vocalist since Jen joined.
  • Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland of the band Sloan are both the lead vocalists (each doing lead on about 40 percent of the band's songs and doing backing vocals on the rest). The other two members have also done lead vocals from time to time.
  • 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 Lætitia 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.
  • Swans: Michael Gira and Jarboe (until the latter left).
  • System of a Down: Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian
  • They Might Be Giants: John Linnell and John 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 Titãs 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).
  • TV on the Radio has Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone, who also sing backup on each other's songs.
  • 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, as well as Willie "Loco" Alexander if you get into the later bootlegs.
  • 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 Gianni 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.
  • Though Wings obviously was dominated by the writing and lead singing of Paul McCartney, other band members contributed lead vocals and compositions, usually ex-leader of The Moody Blues, guitarist/bassist Denny Laine. Guitarist Jimmy McCullough from the 1975-77 period provided lead vocals on his songs, "Medicine Jar" and "Wino Junko", while all five members were given a lead on Wings At The Speed Of Sound. McCartney had actually wanted Wings to have a band identity, yet he clearly was the one who provided the band with the most input.
  • 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.
    • Bassist Chris Squire has been known to sing many leads as well, notably "Parallels" on Going For The One, "Onward" on Tormato, "Run Through The Light" on Drama, and (with vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Billy Sherwood) "The More We Live-Let Go" on Union.

  • 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.
  • The titular band from The '80s' Saturday Morning Cartoon Kidd Video; while the main character (whose name is also Kidd Video) was nominally the bandleader and singer, all four members got to take lead vocal chores on the original songs which closed each episode.


  • 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), lead songwriter/occasional drummer Jim DeCaire, or keyboardist Lynn Bellmore/Coffey/Anderson 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. In addition, one of their most famous songs, "Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck", was sung by Dave "Doc" Bradbury, who was only in the group for about two years.
  • 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 other's 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.
  • 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).
  • Steam Powered Giraffe originally featured Rabbit, The Spine, and The Jon, all of whom traded off vocals on their first two albums, with Token Human Michael Reed getting a couple of songs of his own. When The Jon left in 2012, he was replaced by Hatchworth, who also sings about a third of the stuff on their third album and beyond.
  • The Cat Empire - whose music might be classed as unsort-able as it is sometimes described as "Latin/ska/funk/jazz/indie/rock/reggae/(maybe another genre or two)" - has Felix Riebl (percussion) and Harry James Angus (trumpet) sharing lead vocals.
  • Grace & Tony share the lead vocals on most of their songs.


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