Do You Remember the Former Lineups of Your Favorite Bands?
Being cooped up in a bus with the same people 365 days a year is bound to cause tension. Add in the fact that life-altering decisions have to be made collectively, but the consequences of which take places individually. So it’s absolutely no wonder … or fault of anyone involved … that from time to time members have to bid farewell to their musical families and take separate paths.
Most recently, Edens Edge founding member Hannah Blaylock parted ways with her bandmates Dean Berner and Cherrill Green, while in 2006 — after a decade as a threesome — Heidi Newfield announced she was leaving Trick Pony cohorts Keith Burns and Ira Dean to pursue a solo career. Everyone remembers that Sugarland was originally a trio, with Kristen Hall exiting after only one single, but you may not be able to guess which Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was an original member of a certain legendary country group.
John Rich in Lonestar
John Rich began his career as a singer and bass guitarist in Lonestar. In 1998 he parted ways with the group and tried his hand at a solo career before forming Big & Rich with Kenny Alphin in 2002.
Jackson Browne in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jackson Browne was a member of the first incarnation of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966. After a few months, the singer-guitarist left to pursue a solo career.
Cheyenne Kimball in Gloriana
After four years in the group, Cheyenne Kimball abruptly exited Gloriana in 2011. While the remaining members admitted they were “saddened and hurt” by the decision, they pressed on as a trio.
Kristen Hall in Sugarland
After only one single, Kristen Hall exited Sugarland in 2006. However, that wasn’t the end of the story, in 2008 she filed a lawsuit against former bandmates Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, insisting she’d been promised a cut of future earnings. The lawsuit settled in 2010 for an undisclosed amount.
Marty Raybon in Shenandoah
Shenandoah was formed in 1984 and garnered several hit singles, but in 1997 lead singer Marty Raybon began working on solo projects. Though he toured with the band through the end of the year, his plan was to exit the group, which thus dissolved. In 2000, two of the original members reunited, adding four other members to be the new incarnation of Shenandoah.
Hannah Blaylock in Edens Edge
In 2013, Edens Edge founding member Hannah Blaylock “left upon her own accord and with much disappointment,” according to her fellow band members. Despite her departure, Dean Berner and Cherrill Green announced they would continue as a duo.
Richie McDonald in Lonestar
In 2007, Lonestar founding member Richie McDonald left to the group to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Cody Collins. After releasing two albums, Richie returned to the band in 2011, following Collins’ departure.
Brian Bandas in Love and Theft
In 2010, Love and Theft founding member Brian Bandas announced exclusively through The Boot that he would be leaving the trio. After five years, and a top 10 hit with ‘Runaway,’ the Austin native decided to to follow his own musical path, a decision sparked by the closure of the group’s label, Lyric Street Records. Remaining members Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles went on to sign with Sony Music Nashville and earn their first No. 1 with ‘Angel Eyes’ in 2011.
Trick Pony Tried Replacing Heidi Newfield
After nearly a decade together, Heidi Newfield announced in 2006 that she was leaving Trick Pony to pursue a solo career. Remaining members Keith Burns and Ira Dean initially replaced the songstress with Aubrey Collins — a participant on the reality show ‘The One: Making a Music Star’ — but the group disbanded in 2008. Heidi released ‘What Am I Waiting For’ in 2008 and earned a Top 10 single with ‘Johnny & June.’