Joel Pimentel is leaving the popular Latin American boy band CNCO, the band announced Sunday in a statement.
In a blow to the band’s worldwide fans, Pimentel will play a final livestream concert with the band Friday.
“We’re sad to tell you that after five and a half unforgettable and life changing years together, Friday, May 14th will be Joel’s last day as a member of CNCO,” the band statement said, stating that “Joel is leaving and will be pursuing new opportunities.”
The statement, from remaining members Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colón, Christopher Vélez and Zabdiel De Jesús, stressed the unity around the band formed in 2015 on the Univision music competition series “La Banda.”
“We are and will always be brothers. We support him in his next chapter, and will always, most importantly, remain a family,” the statement said.
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The band addressed the fan impact of the loss of Pimentel, 22, in the statement: “We know this news is saddening and is going to be as hard for all of you as it is for us, but we appreciate you sticking with us. While it will be different, we are so excited to continue into this new era of CNCO, and can’t wait for all of you to see what we have in store for you!”
Pimentel responded to an Instagram post of the statement with a comment: “Love you guys.”
Pimentel went deeper in his own statement, posted to his Twitter account. “It’s time for me to grow and explore new artistic avenues, it’s time to start building my own path and career,” he wrote. “This is why I’ve decided to leave the band.”
As for the upcoming Friday livestream finale, the band wrote: “You guys are what keep us going and have us so excited to continue together stronger than ever. For that reason, we wanted to give you a final gift all together.”
CNCO has had major success on Latin music charts, launching eight Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Latin pop airplay chart, including the No. 1 tunes “Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos)” and “Se Vuelve Loca.” The band’s songs have reached worldwide audiences, performing especially well in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Spain, and Argentina.
CNCO’s first two albums — 2016′s “Primera Cita” and 2018′s “CNCO” — debuted at No. 1 on the Latin charts and reached the Top 40 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart. The band’s latest effort, the cover album “Déjà Vu,” was released in February.
The group has won multiple honors at the Latin American Music Awards, Latin Billboard Music Awards and iHeartRadio Music Awards. The band’s “MTV Unplugged at Home” performance won best quarantine performance at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards and they were nominated for best new artist at the 2017 Latin Grammys.
Pimentel wrote on Twitter about a new project, with no specifics. “This is just a new beginning,” he wrote.
Contributing: The Associated Press.