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Jean Michel-Byron is the much-maligned fourth lead singer of Toto. After Joseph Williams left the band subsequent to =>“The Seventh One” Tour, Toto were seriously considering a reunion with then-former lead vocalist Bobby Kimball. It was during this time that the song =>"Goin Home" was recorded.

The record company intervened, however, and the idea to reunite with Kimball was axed, and Byron was pushed on the band.

Byron was born and raised in South-Africa and started his musical career in 1983 as a session singer. Having grown frustrated with the session scene, Byron had joined several cover bands to support himself. In addition to singing covers, he also wrote and recorded his own songs, with which he cut several demos. One of these demo-tapes ended up in the hands of => Bob Colomby, who introduced him to Toto and subsequently pressured the band to hire him.

Byron joined Toto for their "Past to Present" album, a Greatest Hits release that contained 4 new tracks: "Love Has the Power", "Animal", "Can You Hear What I'm Saying" and "Out of Love." During the "Past to Present" tour in 1990, Byron and the band began to clash. His on-stage antics and rumored diva-like behavior irked both band and fans a like, and Byron was quickly relegated to the title of "backing vocalist" by the band.

Steve Lukather on Byron:

To be honest, Byron was drilled by the record company and his ego grew to dangerous proportions, when he played with the band for a while. I think he considered Toto to be a perfect launch-platform for his solo-career. I wish him all the best, but he just didn't form a harmonic part of the band.

So great was the anti-Byron sentiment, all of his songs were cut from the filmed Toto Live video from the tour. While his stint in Toto was short, the Byron Era is still a much-discussed hot topic amongst the fans.

After leaving Toto, Byron released a solo record, "Byron," which contains a version of "Love Has the Power" and has done scattered recordings over the years.


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