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10 Successful Bands Who Survived Losing a Member

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10 Successful Bands Who Survived Losing a Member

The reason bands become successful will usually be a combination of their talent and their likability. Losing a member can be a huge blow to a band whose fame (and usually fortune) are based on the group as a whole. Many groups have simply split up or suffered failing careers after losing a member but other have gone on to have the same, if not more success. Take a look at these bands who have successfully survived the loss of a band member.

Manic Street Preachers

Successful band - Manics
Courtesy of The Guardian

The Manic Street Preachers have not only survived the loss of a band member but the mystery of what happened. Richey Edwards was a guitarist in the band and went missing back in 1995. He has been presumed dead due to his car being found near the Severn Bridge, but because his body has never been found there are many fans who still believe he is alive.

Oasis

Successful band - Oasis
Courtesy of captainsdead.com

When Oasis released their debut album Definitely Maybe in 1994 they had Tony McCarroll as a member. He played drums on the first album but had left by the release of the second and replaced by Alan White, as allegedly there was tension between him and Noel Gallagher. The loss of this band member didn’t affect Oasis in any way and the band went on to achieve very high levels of success.

Queen

Successful band - Queen
Courtesy of eggythebread

Queen was fronted by one of the most unique and talented men in music. It was a tragedy when Freddie Mercury died at age 45 and it would have been understandable if the band had chosen to hang up their guitars. Instead the remaining members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon continued and played numerous concerts with guest lead singers.

More recently Queen have lost another member with bassist Deason deciding to call it a day. Losing two members still hasn’t managed to stop Queen, who have recently toured with Adam Lambert. Lambert has not become an official Queen member but apparently the remaining members are open to the idea and would be keen to record new music with him.

INXS

Successful bands
Courtesy of mtv.com

This Australian band would have been forgiven if they had packed up their instruments when their lead singer died. Michael Hutchence had been the lead singer for 20 years when he was found hanged. Instead of giving up, the band continued to play with different lead singers for a few years, much like Queen. However, they then went on a reality TV show to find a new lead singer and JD Fortune joined the band. They remained together for another 6 years before calling it a day.

AC/DC

Successful band - AC/DC
Courtesy of allmusic.com

AC/DC didn’t have much luck with lead singers. The first was fired allegedly being too ‘glam rock’ and then the second died due to alcohol. Many believe that the lead singer is the key to a band’s success but AC/DC have proved that this isn’t the case. They have also been through numerous bassists and drummers and have continued to enjoy success throughout.

The Beatles

Successful band
Photo by Tom Hanley/Redferns

Everyone has heard of Paul, John, George and Ringo but many people forget that this wasn’t the original line up of The Beatles. They started life as Paul, John, George and Pete, and stayed that way for 2 years. Then, for reasons we don’t know, Pete changed to Ringo and the rest is history.

Take That

Successful band - Take That
Courtesy of Digital Spy

One of the most successful boy bands of all time has survived a few losses. Robbie Williams walked away from the band before a tour and they continued without him. They enjoyed pretty much the same level of success as with him but then decided to go their separate ways after just a year. However, they then reformed (without Robbie) and went on to become a huge success again. Then Robbie came back, then he left again. Then Jason Orange decided to leave and the band is now carrying on as a 3 and to be fair they seem to be enjoying the same levels of success.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Successful bands
Courtesy of wall.alphacoder.net

If you thought the Take That members situation was bad then you might not want to know about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In the history of this band there has been 7 different guitarists and 5 different drummers. The only two remaining band members are Anthony Kiedis and Flea. They are still going strong though despite losing numerous people along the way.

Sugababes

Successful bands
Courtesy of thequietus.com

The story of the Sugababes members is the craziest of all! The original trio were a successful pop group. One member left and they carried on their success with a replacement. Another original member left and again was replaced and the band carried on being successful. Then the 3rd original member left and was again replaced. So the Sugababes group went on to be successful even though none of the original members were there! In a cruel twist years later, the original trio wished to get back together and return as the Sugababes but were told they couldn’t as the Sugababes were a different group now.

One Direction

Courtesy of mychordbook.com
Courtesy of mychordbook.com

It is still early days since One Direction lost one of their band members – Zayn Malik. They still seem to be going strong with a dedicated fan base who will stick by them regardless of who leaves. The rest of the successful bands on this list show that it is entirely possible to survive the loss of a band member and it won’t be a shock if One Direction simply carry on as if nothing has happened.

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