Longtime Kansas frontman Steve Walsh revealed just over two weeks ago that he'll soon be leaving the band, but the veteran rockers already have found a replacement. The group has announced that Ronnie Platt will be stepping in as the new lead singer.
A message on Kansas' official website reports that "Ronnie's first show with the band will be September 12 in Oklahoma City, OK, where he will take over singing duties for departing vocalist Steve Walsh."
Platt has been performing with a popular classic-rock cover band from Chicago named ARRA, and he formerly was the lead singer of the Kansas City, Missouri-based group Shooting Star.
He says in a statement, "I'm a longtime fan of [Kansas'] music and have always looked up to Steve Walsh. My goal is not to replace Steve; no one can do that. It is my goal and responsibility to sustain the integrity that is Kansas."
Platt adds that joining the group fulfills "a lifelong dream," and notes, "I've got the job, but now it's time to earn it…and I take nothing for granted that has been given to me. My performance in Kansas will be how I've always performed, with passion and enthusiasm."
Meanwhile, Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says about the group's latest member, "After considering other candidates, it became clear Ronnie was our guy. He's a perfect fit musically and personally with the band. His passion for the band and the music, as well as his musicianship, is exceptional."
Guitarist Rich Williams adds that when Platt joins Kansas, "People can expect us to shake things up musically and dust off some songs we haven't played in quite a while. Who knows? With Ronnie now on board, there may even be new music in our future!"
Walsh will perform with Kansas on the band's European summer tour, which kicks off Thursday in London, and he also will play several more U.S. concerts with the group when it returns from overseas. His last show will be August 16 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa.
After his departure from Kansas was announced, Walsh issued a statement to MelodicRock.com that read, "I know there's a lot of different versions out there on why I'm leaving, so let me just say that it's time for me to go, and yes, it makes me sad to have to admit that."
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