Six Singers Who Could Have Fronted Van Halen
Van Halen found themselves in search of a lead singer on a few occasions, with notable names including Steve Perry, Sebastian Bach and even Ozzy Osbourne considered for the job at various points.
After the departure of founding singer David Lee Roth in 1985, the band's remaining members looked for another big name to fill his shoes. It's known that Eddie Van Halen spoke to Perry, who was disenchanted with Journey, and Patty Smyth of Scandal to see if they were interested. But both declined, and the band ultimately hired Sammy Hagar, who had more than a decade of experience under his belt, first with Montrose before reaching greater success as a solo act thanks to songs like "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy" and "I Can't Drive 55."
The group's split with Hagar following 1995's Balance gave them yet another opportunity. Van Halen had a brief dalliance with Mitch Malloy, who was offered the job and even wrote a song with the band, but pulled out after Van Halen's appearance with Roth at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. Sebastian Bach of Skid Row and Canadian singer Sass Jordan have said that they had varying degrees of interest from the Van Halen camp at the time about replacing Hagar. But in the end, Extreme's Gary Cherone wound up with the job, lasting only one album, 1998's III, and sessions for a second before they had a mutual parting of the ways.
And as for Osbourne, there was a reason why he didn't take Eddie's offer seriously. Check out our roundup of singers who could have fronted Van Halen below.