Aerosmith to headline Download with Steven Tyler

Despite rumours of them auditioning a new frontman, the hard-rock veterans are to reunite with their longtime lead singer

Aerosmith will headline this June's Download festival, with Steven Tyler as their frontman. After months of speculation and the threat of litigation, the American rock band have reunited with their longtime lead singer for the gig at Donnington Park in Leicestershire.

Last week, guitarist Joe Perry was still alluding to Tyler's hiatus from the band. "While he's away working on other projects, the rest of us want to carry on playing live," Perry told Classic Rock magazine. "We will be bring another singer to make this happen." Since Christmas, the group has approached singers such as Billy Idol, Paul Rodgers and Lenny Kravitz. "How long will Steven be away?" Perry asked. "He says it'll be two years, but I believe he'll be back a lot sooner. It may end up that we only do 10 shows with the new person."

And yet perhaps a substitute will not be necessary after all. Download festival's contract with Aerosmith allegedly includes the stipulation that Tyler is their singer – and no one is complaining. Whether Tyler is to return to Aerosmith full-time, or just for this one-off, is not yet clear.

For the moment, Tyler is still understood to be in treatment for an addiction to prescription painkillers, which arose from an injury at a concert last year. According to his doctor, Tyler also planned to undergo surgery on his feet and knees. It remains to be seen whether this will go ahead – or if Tyler is leaping right back into touring life.

Download takes place from 11-13 June. Other acts confirmed for this year's festival include Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC and Them Crooked Vultures.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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