Ann Wilson Explains Why She Wasn’t The Right Fit For Led Zeppelin

Heart’s Ann Wilson recently recalled auditioning to be Led Zeppelin’s new vocalist to replace Robert Plant in their plans to reunite after the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute concert in 2007. Wilson stated that the band was always a boy’s club when they didn’t pick her.

Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968 and quickly became one of the most respected and iconic bands. In 1980, while they were on the road to commence their North American tour, their drummer John Bonham passed away from asphyxiation from his vomit. The band’s bassist John Paul Jones was the person to find him dead in the bed at Jimmy Page’s house.

The whole incident was very traumatic for the band members, and they couldn’t move on. Following this, Led Zeppelin disbanded after the event because they couldn’t continue without Bonham. After a career filled with peaks, the band ended in 12 years. However, their fans and the rest of the industry always hoped for them to reunite. The band, especially Robert Plant, was reluctant, but they performed a couple of times, mainly in tribute or charity concerts.

In 2007, the band reunited to perform for Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert in London. John Bonham’s son Jason took over his father’s spot on the drums, and the concert broke a record of being the highest demand for tickets for a music concert. After this performance, the band considered reuniting, but Robert Plant wanted to continue working on his solo acts with Alison Krauss and didn’t want to record or tour with Zeppelin.

Hence, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones held auditions for a new vocalist. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy, and Heart’s Ann Wilson were the singers who auditioned. Wilson talked about this audition in her recent interview and indicated that her auditioning as a female singer was not what Zeppelin was looking for because they were a ‘boys club’ and was awkward when she revealed she wanted to sing for the band.

Wilson’s statement about her audition follows:

“Yeah, it’s such a boy’s club. Zeppelin always was a boy’s club. I know that because there was a minute when the rumor was that they were auditioning singers, and I just threw my hat in the ring. I went, ‘I’m here!’ and it was crickets.”

Wilson proved herself and gave her due to Led Zeppelin later in 2012 when she performed ‘Stairway to Heaven’ with her band at the Kennedy Center Honors. The performance was watched by the whole band and then-president Barrack Obama. Heart received a standing ovation for the performance with Jason Bonham on drums while Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones’ eyes were filled with tears.