Reflecting on the confusion that came after Steven signed on as ‘American Idol’ judge, Joe reveals that Lenny Kravitz and the late Chris Cornell were also in contention for the band’s new singer.

AceShowbizSammy Hagar came close to replacing Steven Tyler in Aerosmith, according to the band’s guitarist Joe Perry.

The rocker reveals he and his bandmates felt sure Tyler was stepping away from the group after signing on to judge TV talent show “American Idol“, and amid the confusion, they started to look for a new singer.

Perry tells Ultimate Classic Rock that Lenny Kravitz and the late Chris Cornell were in contention for the job, but Hagar came closest.

“I remember Steven doing that TV show, I thought that was great,” Joe says. “I just knew he had to do something like that, and doing that solo record that he did. So the band wasn’t that tight, there was talk and there were so many people involved – lawyers, different managers.”

“I thought, ‘Steven wants maybe to take four years off, do what he wants to do,’ ” the 70-year-old rocker goes on explaining. “And so the whole looking around for another lead singer thing, just as soon as that happened, that raised its head.”

“I’m not sure how it got out there, but Sam I know as a really mellow guy, easy to get along with. And he definitely had the pipes, so I can see why that idea had been floated. We also had a shortlist at that point. Things went the way they did, everybody got out of the system what they wanted to, and then we slowly glued back together.”

Tyler eventually made it clear he wasn’t leaving Aerosmith and the band quickly regrouped.

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