In an interview with The Daily Mail, James Blunt has announced that he will be leaving the music industry behind. The singer/songwriter/one-time figure of national annoyance revealed that he has no more plans to do any songwriting. Blunt is, of course, not the first person to become disillusioned with life in the limelight, so we here at Decibel have gone out of our way to give a history lesson of sorts on musicians who have also called it a day.
- Lilly Allen
In 2009, a mere three years after her debut album, Alright, Still was released, Lilly Allen announced that she would be quitting the music industry to focus on other endeavors. She made a cameo on Pink’s The Truth About Love in 2012, but has stuck to her promise (unlike the other occupants of this list) and remains ‘retired’ from the industry.
After releasing the seminal Black Album in 2003, Jay-Z announced that he too would be quitting music. Evidently Jay-Z’s definition of ‘quitting’ is markedly different from everyone else’s in that he made frequent collaborative efforts and live appearances before releasing the underwhelming Kingdom Come in 2006.
- Ace Frehley
Similar to Jay-Z, longtime Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley sensationally quit Kiss in the 1980′s but couldn’t stay away and returned to the band with drummer Peter Criss in 1996. After six years of touring, Frehley quit Kiss again, albeit on a more harmonious note, after they played the closing ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Prince obviously never ‘quit music’, but he did famously quit his own name. A bit of a cop-out, yes, but Prince’s transformation into a symbol and ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’ is such a ridiculous episode in recent music history that it had to be included. During his time as ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince’, he recorded some of the worst work of his career. Coincidence? I think not.
- Yusuf Islam
‘The artist formerly known as Steven Georgiou formerly known as Cat Stevens’ similarly quit music in 1977 following his conversion to islam. Yusuf made sporadic appearances throughout a retirement that lasted until 2003, when he released Peace Train as a single. He followed it up with a collaborative effort with Ronan Keating in 2004, but the less said about that the better.