LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Jeff Scott Soto is now the official lead singer for the veteran U.S. rock band Journey, replacing Steve Augeri, who left the group due to illness.
Soto had been carrying the singing duties for Augeri since last summer when he became ill.
"We are so grateful to Steve for all the years he dedicated to Journey," the group said in a statement Wednesday. "Over the past few months, we've come to realize that Jeff has proven himself above and beyond that he can sing the hell out of our songs and we're happy to officially welcome him as part of the family."
Journey was formed in 1973 by former members of the band Santana and has gone through numerous phases since that time.
Augeri, 47, who joined the band in 1998, replacing Steve Perry, wished his band mates all successes and happiness in the future, but the release did not give the details of his illness. Augeri's debut with the band was on the single "Remember Me," from the "Armageddon" movie soundtrack.