Following the sudden departure of original vocalist Steve Walsh earlier this month, Kansas have named Ronnie Platt as the group's new singer and keyboardist. Platt's first show with the band will be on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma City, OK.

“I want Kansas fans to know, first and foremost, I’m one of them,” says Platt in a statement on the band's Facebook page. "I’m a long time fan of the music and have always looked up to Steve Walsh. My goal is not to replace Steve; no one can do that. It is my goal and responsibility to sustain the integrity that is Kansas. This is a lifelong dream and I would like to thank Phil, Rich, Billy, and David for the opportunity. Yes, I’ve got the job, but now it’s time to earn it….and I take nothing for granted that has been given to me. My performance in Kansas will be how I’ve always performed, with passion and enthusiasm.“

Although he may be new to the Kansas lineup, Platt is not a novice when it comes to music. He has reportedly been a part of a number of different groups in the past, including the Shooting Star Band from 2007 to 2011.

“After considering other candidates, it became clear Ronnie was our guy," Kansas drummer Phil Ehart says. "He’s a perfect fit musically and personally with the band. His passion for the band and the music, as well as his musicianship, is exceptional.”

Walsh's final show with the band will be on Aug. 16 in Sioux City, Iowa. This is the second time he has left Kansas. After Walsh's first departure in 1981, John Elefante was hired as his replacement, where he remained for three years. Last week, Elefante, who has since become a successful Contemporary Christian musician, revealed that he was asked to rejoin the band, but that a higher power intervened.

“We had a great and fruitful sit down together,” Elefante said. "But as with any big decision in my life, I find it most important for myself, my family and friends to turn to prayer. On Friday (July 4), God had swiftly answered these prayers but His response was not what I was expecting, which was a definitive closing of the door.”

More From Ultimate Classic Rock