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Robert Plant – Then and Now

Robert Plant
Dick Barnatt, Redferns / Dave Hogan, Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine all the great singers and showman the world could have missed out on in the history of rock ‘n’ roll if not for one Mr. Robert Plant paving the way.

Making his mark as the fresh-faced singer and master of ceremonies for the revolutionary band Led Zeppelin, as seen in the photo on the left, Plant along with guitarist Jimmy Page, drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones truly set the bar that bands to this day still try to live up to. Throughout his time with Led Zeppelin, Plant became the walking definition of a ‘rock star’ — imbibing enough swagger, gumption, and reckless abandon to sell it by the bottle, but true magic like Plant’s could never be packaged. You’re either born with it, or you’re not.

Although most often considered hard rock, it was impossible to put Led Zeppelin in a box. They did things one way — their own way, and remain one of the most notoriously successful bands both in the minds of critics and music fans alike to this very day. While Led Zeppelin would disband after the death of Bonham in 1980, their legacy had already been carved into the history of rock and is still felt generations later.

Plant still had a lot of music left in him post-Zeppelin, and continued his career as a solo artist in the early ‘80s.  Throughout the following years Plant would debut several new bands, including Priory of Brion, a blues and folk act called Strange Sensation and a grammy winning team-up with bluegrass star Alison Krauss, showing off his true diversity and knack for mastering so many different styles of music.

Plant’s latest foray in music was with his folk rock act Band of Joy, a revival (in name anyway) of the band Plant first started in the ’70s with Bonham. The 2010 lineup of Band of Joy included singer Patty Griffin. Band of Joy released a self-titled disc and toured the U.S. and beyond in support. These shows were fantastic, and as you can see from the photo on the right, Plant has aged with dignity and style.

Although Plant and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin have reunited for one-off shows like Live Aid back in 1985 and the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert in 2007, no extended reunion tour has ever been nailed down, much to fans’ dismay.  The band has been offered upwards of 200 million dollars to join forces and tour again but Plant has continually shot down all offers. While fans continue to hold out hope of seeing the mighty Led Zeppelin perform live one last time, budding new rock stars are born every day, and most of them will find themselves singing ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in their mirror at least once or twice along the way, all thanks to Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin.

Next: Nancy Wilson of Heart – Then and Now

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