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Kansas has a new lead vocalist.  The band has tapped singer-keyboardist Ronnie Platt to take over for departing frontman Steve Walsh.

Drummer Phil Ehart says in a Facebook post that Ronnie is "a perfect fit musically and personally," adding that Ronnie's "passion for the band and the music, as well as his musicianship, is exceptional." 

Platt admits becoming Kansas' frontman fulfills "a lifelong dream."  But he explains that he won't try to replace Steve, because "no one can do that."  Ronnie says he feels he's simply being called to "sustain the integrity that is Kansas."  Platt adds that he knows he still has to prove himself, and "earn" his spot in the band. 

Walsh gave notice to Kansas at the end of June that he was leaving.  The band initially appealed to their one-time lead singer John Elefante, who took over after Walsh's departure in 1981, but he declined the offer. 

Steve is remaining with the group through the summer, and will play his last show with Kansas in Sioux City, Iowa on August 16th.  Ronnie will play his first show with Kansas in Oklahoma City on September 12th. 

Photo: Getty Images