Another Icarus or the Right Decision - Lead Singers Go Solo

Another Icarus or the Right Decision - Lead Singers Go Solo

RL's departure from Next made me think about how often artists leave groups, and the implications it has. While I often see it as a death sentence for groups, in many cases, they continue on without the other member, letting the other vocalists showcase their talents.

Looking back on the years, there are a number of cases of artists "taking their talents elsewhere." During the 90s, you saw K-Ci & JoJo leave Jodeci, and Beyonce leaving Destiny's Child in the dust. If you go even further back, you saw Marc Nelson leave Boyz II Men to make his own career. More recently, during comeback efforts by Next and Solo, we've seen RL and Eunique Mack leave their respective groups.

Why is it that artists wave off the people who helped carry them into spotlight and go their own way? Is it hungry eyes doing the math on dividing money one way versus four ways. Is it an attempt at greater creative freedom, as the artist finds him or herself able to do a lot more on their own? Or is it just personalities butting heads?

We've seen some of these cases lead to incredible careers, with Beyonce's of course being the best example. At the time RL went solo, Next's popularity was tapering, so any success he might experience alone might only broaden his chances. K-Ci & JoJo's success away from Jodeci was tremendous, and highlighted that they could do just fine without the group.

Other cases aren't as storied. Marc Nelson has never been able to come near the success Boyz II Men had, and it's looking unlikely that Eunique Mack will see much success apart from Solo. But I suppose chasing your dreams alone isn't just about beating the group you left, it's more about showing what you're capable of on your own. It's a business ultimately, and there's a sense of pride in personal accomplishments.

Overall, I wish artists would be more forthcoming about the separations groups make. Instead, music is a PR industry, and nobody wants to throw bad blood on their past coworkers. Anyone who has been able to watch these collapses from the inside, please contact us as I'd love to hear more about the dynamics that came into play.

To our readers, why do you think singers leave groups? Do you think it's always a good decision? Always a bad decision? Let us know in the forums!