Hannah Mulholland’s Departure From Runaway June Influenced By the Coronavirus
Runaway June singer and guitarist Hannah Mulholland recently parted ways with her bandmates Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne. The trio's two remaining members are bringing in a new third musician to round out their group once more, but in an interview with Taste of Country Nights, they share that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic played a part in Mulholland's split from the group.
On Monday (May 18), Cooke, Wayne and Mulholland's replacement, Natalie Stovall revealed that homesickness mostly spurred Mulholland's departure, but, they admit, the COVID-19 crisis was the last straw.
"The pandemic happened, and the world started changing," Cooke says. "As a lot of people have done, Hannah started to reevaluate what was important to her. And that was being with her family and her husband in California."
The singer continues, "Jen and I have nothing but love for Hannah. We support that, and we want her to be happy. So there's no drama here."
In Mulholland's May 14 statement, the now-former Runaway June member didn't mention a precise reason for her exit: "It is bittersweet, but I am excited to continue to evolve and grow," she said at the time. Now that it's out in the open, however, her one-time bandmates say they understand Mulholland's decision to leave.
"I think Hannah felt homesick and disconnected from her family for a while," Cooke adds. "Sometimes you don't even have time to think about that when you're going as fast as we've been going. Hannah got married last year, and this life and this work takes you away from your family. It's a sacrifice that we all make."
The "Buy My Own Drinks" hitmakers certainly do move fast. Only a day after Mulholland announced her departure, Runaway June made public the news that Stovall, the singer-songwriter and fiddle player who previously fronted Natalie Stovall and the Drive, had joined the trio as Mulholland's successor.
"We brought Natalie in because that third-part harmony was just too much to give up," Cooke explains. "We love being three people on the road and the stage. Natalie was the only other person that I was like, 'Okay, this is [someone] that I'm gonna give a third of the band to.' It was Natalie or nobody."
The coronavirus has affected Runaway June in more ways than one: While she's since recovered, Wayne revealed in April that she'd been diagnosed with COVID-19.
LOOK: Country Artists Who've Battled the Coronavirus