Walsh, who was with the band from the beginning and was only absent from 1981 to 1985, was the voice heard on the vast majority of Kansas' best known songs. On June 30, he let his bandmates know that it was time for him to move on and, less than a month later, his replacement has been named.
Ronnie Platt, who has been in a number of bands including Shooting Star from 2007 to 2011. He is a Chicago native and a long time Kansas fan.
The band issued a statement on their new singer:
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!
Walsh's last show with the band will be August 16. As mentioned above, Platt will have his first appearance on September 12 at the Oklahoma State Fair.