Ann Wilson’s Offer to Front Led Zeppelin Was Met With ‘Crickets’
The revelation came during Wilson’s appearance on U.K. radio station Planet Rock.
"Zeppelin always was a boy's club,” the Heart singer opined. “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.”
Wilson was referring to a period of time around early 2008. After Led Zeppelin -- with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham’s son, Jason -- staged a hugely successful reunion at the O2 Arena in London in December 2007, some members of the group wanted to push forward with further performances. Plant declined, instead choosing to focus on his solo career, so Page and Jones decided to audition potential singers to see if they could find a match.
Wilson was interested, but she couldn’t get a response.
“I went, 'I'm here!’ and it was crickets," the Heart singer recalled.
“Who knows what went on there?," Wilson pondered when further questioned about the experience. "But anyway, who would want to hire somebody that could sing just like Plant? I don't think that's what they were into, you know? I don't think they want it to be a caricature of Led Zeppelin.”
Despite the cold response, Wilson remained a fan of the band. In 2012, she performed a powerful rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” at the Kennedy Center Honors. Her performance was so well-received that it later led to questions about whether she’d ever want to front Led Zeppelin in Plant’s place.
“Hypothetically, if they ever needed a lead singer and Heart was not active at the moment, then, sure, I would," Wilson said in 2014. "I would go and play with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones any day of the week."