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Entertainment Weekly

Justin Timberlake

21 Stars Who Left Their Bands

Posted on

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Camila Cabello, Fifth Harmony

After a breakthrough year with Fifth Harmony, Camila Cabello left Harmonizers stunned when she made her exit from the pop group in late 2016. Shortly after Cabello's final performance with the group at the Jingle Ball in Miami, 5H released a statement via Twitter announcing Cabello's departure, which resulted in quite a bit of "we said/she said" and the exposure of a few juicy details of the group's final months as a quintet.
Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images

 Justin Timberlake, *NSYNC

The former Mickey Mouse Club member traded in his ears and rose to fame with *NSYNC in the late '90s, but Justin Timberlake went solo in 2002, releasing three multi-platinum selling solo albums and bagging nine Grammy awards in years since. 
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

 Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child

Before she demanded that we all get in formation, Beyoncé spent years as the lead vocalist of Destiny's Child's ever-changing line-up. The singer went solo in 2003 and has since won 20 Grammys and become one of the best-selling musicians of all time. 
Timothy Hiatt/WireImage

 Zayn Malik and Niall Horan, One Direction

Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction is still a fresh wound for 1D fans even after the success of his debut single, "Pillowtalk," and album, Mind of Mine. Still, after the group's short hiatus following Malik's exit, Niall Horan followed in his former bandmate's footsteps and released his first solo single, "This Town," in September. 
ShowBizIreland/Getty Images

 Diana Ross, The Supremes

Ross left The Supremes in 1970 and found success with her first No. 1 solo single, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," shortly after. Over the span of her career, Ross released several more albums and eventually took up acting, appearing alongside Michael Jackson as Dorothy in the Motown adaptation of The Wiz
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

 Jesse McCartney, Dream Street

Jesse McCartney began stealing hearts at a young age as a member of the short-lived boy band, Dream Street. Since releasing his first solo album, Beautiful Soul, in 2002, and having his music featured on multiple Disney projects, the 29-year-old has made appearances on Summerland, Law and Order: SVU, and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
David Corio/Redferns

 Lionel Richie, Commodores

Lionel Richie left the Commodores in 1982 after the success of "Endless Love," his duet with Diana Ross. The singer followed up with several more top ten hits including "Hello," "All Night Long," and "Stuck On You."
Christopher Polk/AMA2014/Getty Images

 Fergie, The Black Eyed Peas

After stepping away from the Black Eyed Peas in 2006, Fergie released her debut solo project, The Duchess, which gave birth to a handful of the singer's most popular singles including "Fergalicious," "London Bridge," "Clumsy," and "Glamorous." Though she had the internet going bananas with the recent release of the video for her new single "M.I.L.F. $" (featuring famous MILFs such as Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and Ciara), a release date has yet to be given for Fergie's second album, Double Duchess.
Paul Natkin/Getty Images

 Smokey Robinson, The Miracles

The green-eyed crooner spent over a decade with The Miracles before his solo career began in 1973. Following a short retirement, Smokey Robinson released his own solo material while simultaneously acting as vice president of Motown Records until the label was sold in 1988.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images; C Flanigan/FilmMagic

 Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas, Jonas Brothers

The brothers spent almost a decade as two-thirds of the Jonas Brothers before the band's breakup in 2013. Joe Jonas is now the frontman of the dance-rock band, DNCE, while baby brother Nick is currently riding on the success of his solo career (and status as a self-proclaimed sex symbol).
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

 Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5

While he rose to fame as a part of The Jackson 5, it didn't take long for Michael Jackson to ascend to legendary status. Thriller eventually took the spot as the best-selling album of all time and Jackson himself was named the Most Successful Entertainer of All Time by Guinness World Records. 
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

 Sting, The Police

Sting spent nearly a decade as the bass guitarist for The Police before leaving the group to launch his solo career in the 1980s. Since going solo, the British rock star has sold over 100 million records and won nine Grammys. 
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

 Gwen Stefani, No Doubt

The Harajuku lover took on a new sound and released her first solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., in 2004 after nearly 20 years with No Doubt. Gwen Stefani soon followed L.A.M.B. with The Sweet Escape in 2006 before making a brief return to No Doubt two years later.
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

 Pharrell, N.E.R.D.

The multi-talented hitmaker released his first solo album, In My Mind, in 2006 before returning to N.E.R.D. for 2008's Seeing Sounds and releasing his second solo project, GIRL, in 2014. 
Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images

 Ronnie Spector, The Ronettes

The Bad Girl of Rock and Roll and ex-wife of Phil Spector recorded her first solo album in 1980 after officially leaving The Ronettes. She's since spent a chunk of her career working behind the scenes and providing guest vocals for other popular rock acts.
Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

 Bobby Brown, New Edition

Bobby Brown was voted out of New Edition in 1985, but was able to find success as a solo artist before he married Whitney Houston in the early '90s. He's since been given his own reality show, Being Bobby Brown, and has made cameos on BET's The Real Husbands of Hollywood
Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

 Lauryn Hill, The Fugees

Lauryn Hill left The Fugees in 1996 and released her first and only solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998. Though the album was a critical and commercial success, Hill's rocky career as a solo artist lead to her decision to briefly leave the public eye in the early 2000s before returning with a few sporadic live performances.
Rob Verhorst/Redferns

 Phil Collins, Genesis

Phil Collins spent years with Genesis and began his solo career in the early '80s. Since then, he's released a deluge of Top 40 singles including "Sussudio" and "In The Air Tonight."
Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Omarion, B2K

The singer/dancer officially made his exit from B2K in 2005 with the release of his debut album, O. He followed the project with 2006's 21 and 2010's Ollusion. Omarion recently spent two seasons on VH1's Love and Hip-Hop Hollywood and is planning on releasing his fifth solo project, Reasons, in early 2017.