KANSAS Pick Vocalist Ronnie Platt to Replace Steve Walsh

Posted today at the Kansas facebook page is news of the band's decision on a replacement for departing singer Steve Walsh. The band has picked Ronnie Platt.
"KANSAS would like to introduce lead vocalist and keyboardist, Ronnie Platt, as it’s newest member. 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.

Ronnie, please meet the greatest fans in the world…..

“I want KANSAS fans to know, first and foremost, I’m one of them,” says Platt, a Chicago area native. “Heck, I’m a blue collar guy that rides a Harley and I’ve spent most of my adult life earning a living by driving a truck. I’m a long time fan of the 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. This is a lifelong dream and I would like to thank Phil, Rich, Billy, and David for the opportunity. Yes, 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. “

KANSAS drummer Phil Ehart states, “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.”

KANSAS guitarist Richard Williams adds, “Once we get back from Europe, we’ve got a lot of work to do to be ready for our fans in September. 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!”

Ronnie, welcome to KANSAS!"

In related news, has posted the brand new Rob Palladino interview with Kansas' Phil Ehart.

Check it out at:



metalmaster's picture

Who in the heck is Ronnie Platt? No disrespect but really? Hopefully I am suprised but it has rarely worked out when this happens. Kansas being one of my favorite bands from my youth. The Elefante and Livgren years are my favorite by far.

Ronnie is the former lead singer for Shooting Star and is the current singer for the band ARRA. He's got a large following in the Chicago area. He's got an amazing voice and is one of the nicest guys I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Look on YouTube for some videos of him. Kansas is lucky to get him.

Scott's picture


but, I was also hoping Elefante would come back into the fold and maybe give Livgren something to think about.  Oh well, at the end of the day I'm a fan and I will likely pruchase their new material...

Geof's picture

According to one report I read, Elefante was offered the gig but after deliberating with his family, declined.
As to the above comment that, " has rarely worked out when this happens," I'd say: Journey, Styx, Foreigner, Yes, Rainbow, Asia, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath etc. etc. etc. There are plenty of bands who have lost iconic, original lead singers and replaced them with either very different or nearly identical-soundalike unknowns, and gone on to make excellent new albums and continue to tour successfully.
Unfortunately, the current members of Kansas appear virtually unable to write quality Kansas-style material themselves, and Kerry Livgren is quite busy with many projects of his own, in addition to presumably still dealing with the lasting effects of his severe 2009 stroke. Writing a new album for his former band as he did back in 2000 is probably — and sadly — not at the top of his list. While bassist Billy Greer is an excellent writer, his style is more suited to the AOR/hard rock sound of his other band Seventh Key with former Streets guitarist Mike Slamer and not the type of sweeping, majestic prog epics that Livgren excels in. Having said that, I'd think Greer — possibly working with Slamer — could write some material intentionally in the hard rock/prog Kansas style. After all, Slamer was also in City Boy, and some of their material was on the proggy side...
By the way, I am still hoping we will hear from Greer or someone as to the true reason Walsh is leaving...

Geof's picture

First is a nearly nine-minute Shooting Star clip from 2009, taking place ironically in ... Kansas. Shooting Star was often described as sounding like a slightly less-proggy Kansas due to their having a violinist. The second clip is him singing Journey's "Faithfully." Based on these clips, both amateur-shot, I think he'll do okay. No one can touch Walsh at his peak, but I don't fault the remaining members of Kansas for wanting to continue what is for them their livelihood and continuing career:


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