Original Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm feels like current lead vocalist Kelly Hansen is imitating him.
Gramm recently told RockHistoryMusic.com, "Kelly is all right. He's a good singer. But I think Mick [Jones] really told Kelly, when he first got in the band, that he had to study me, because he sings those songs with the same musical innuendos and vocal licks and ad-libs as I have. He's mimicking me. His voice doesn't sound like me, but he's singing the songs the way I would sing them.”
He added, "Some people say, 'Well, take it as a compliment, Lou.' I don't take it as a compliment. You're a singer with a big band like that -- use your voice and your style. Don't hang your coat on my hook.”
Lou also said, "I don't think he should sing the songs verbatim like me. Maybe sing a couple of parts. But let his own influences show -- show the fans that he's the new singer now, not me."
The spokesperson for both Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen declined a request for comment. Mick once commented on what he actually heard in Kelly Hansen’s voice when he decided to hire Kelly as Foreigner’s frontman, saying, "When he sang our songs he sounded really convincing. I don't think you say that he sounds like a clone of Lou or anything. I think he's got his own quality, but I think it's the conviction and the power of which he sings the songs. And what they've got is the excitement back in them of somebody discovering them anew."
Hansen said he realized he couldn’t make everyone happy. Kelly also discussed his approach to songs recorded before he was in Foreigner, saying, "I had a discussion with Mick early on about doing justice to this great material and that's what was foremost in my mind in doing all the past Foreigner stuff because I think that the music deserves that. And I think that hopefully I have an ability to do that as well -- to bring justice and really give the kind of energy, the kind of force that you would expect this music to have."
As Foreigner gets closer to their 50th anniversary, there have been persistent rumors that Lou Gramm could be invited to be a part of the celebration. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens with that.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]