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Joel Pimentel

Joel Pimentel Announces He’s Quitting CNCO — Uncover All The Other Stars Who Left Their Bands

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May 13 2021, Updated 11:43 p.m. ET

After almost six years together, CNCO is losing a member. Yep, Joel Pimentel just announced that he was parting ways with the Latin American boy band so that he could pursue “new opportunities.”

“We’re sad to tell you that after five and a half unforgettable and life changing years together, Friday, May 14 will be Joel’s last day as a member of CNCO,” the group, which is also made up of Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colón, Christopher Vélez and Zabdiel De Jesús, wrote in a 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!”

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The statement continued, “We want you all to know that while Joel is leaving and will be pursuing new opportunities, we are and will always be brothers. We support him in his next chapter, and will always, most importantly, remain a family.”

So he may have left the band on good terms, but other stars did not. Just take Zayn Malik, for example. After he quit One Direction in 2015, he and his former bandmates went on to shade each other in multiple interviews. And what about Camila Cabello? When Fifth Harmony announced she was leaving in 2016, she claimed that she was totally blindsided by the announcement, and it wasn’t pretty! Here’s all the other singers who left a band so that they could pursue a solo career instead, and what went down when they went their separate ways…

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Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik

Malik shocked the entire world when he announced that he was leaving 1D in March 2015 so that he could live a normal life.

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“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band,” he wrote on Facebook at the time. “I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”

But things didn’t end there for him. Malik quickly started to release solo music, and when he later discussed his time in the band, he didn’t have the nicest things to say.

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“I think I always kind of wanted to go. From like the first year really, I never really wanted to be there in the band,” he once admitted. “I just gave it a go because it was there at the time and then when I realized the direction we were going in with the music, I instantly realized it wasn’t for me because I realized I couldn’t put any input in. I couldn’t give my opinion on this or that because it didn’t fit the grain of what we were as a band or what we represented. So that’s when it became frustrating for me, that’s when I had to be like, ‘I’ve got to start thinking about myself.’”

He also claimed he left the band with “zero friends,” and dissed 1D’s music on numerous occasions.

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“That’s not music that I would listen to. Would you listen to One Direction, sat at a party with your girl? I wouldn’t,” the now-27-year-old told Fader Magazine a few months after his departure. “To me, that’s not an insult, that’s me as a 22-year-old man. As much as I was in that band, and I loved everything that we did, that’s not music that I would listen to. I don’t think that’s an offensive statement to make. That’s just not who I am. If I was sat at a dinner date with a girl, I would play some cool shit, you know what I mean? I want to make music that I think is cool shit. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”

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Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello

In 2016, Fifth Harmony announced that Cabello was no longer a part of the group via Twitter.

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“After four and a half years together, we have been informed via her representatives that Camila has decided to leave Fifth Harmony. We wish her well,” they wrote at the time.

But then, Cabello published a message of her own, and she claimed that she was completely blindsided by 5H’s announcement.

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“I was shocked to read the statement that the Fifth Harmony account posted without my knowing. The girls were aware of my feelings through the long, much needed conversations about the future that we had during tour. Saying that they were just informed through my representatives that I was ‘leaving the group’ is simply not true,” she tweeted. “I did not intend to end things badly with Fifth Harmony this way. As sad as it is to see this chapter ending this way, I will continue to root them all on as individuals and as a group.”

Then, the ladies posted another lengthy note in response to Cabello’s claims.

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“Over the past several months we have consistently made every effort to sit down and discuss the future of Fifth Harmony with Camila. We have spent the past year and a half (since her initial solo endeavor) trying to communicate to her and her team all the reasons why we felt Fifth Harmony deserved at least one more album of her time,” they explained. “We called for group meetings which she refused, we asked LA Reid and the label to step in and try to set meetings, which again, she refused. We even went as far as group counseling which she did not show up to. So no, after months of rejection from her and her team, these supposed lengthy conversations in fact never happened, although we pleaded. We have tried and exhausted efforts and hearts to keep this group alive as the five of us, and we want it to be very clear that unfortunately those efforts were not mutual.”

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A few months later, when asked why she had parted ways with the group, Cabello told Seventeen Magazine, “Fifth Harmony wasn’t the maximum expression of me individually. My goal is to be brave and open up my soul.”

“We didn’t write our records. We were interpreting somebody else’s story,” she also told Billboard. “Fifth Harmony is an entity or identity outside all of us, and I don’t think anybody felt individually represented by the sound — we didn’t make it.”

Despite all the drama, it does seem like things are all good between them now.

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“I don’t like any beefs. I feel like we’re in a really good place now, me and the girls. I saw Normani recently at the Billboard Awards and we caught up and I told her I’m super excited for her,” Cabello explained to Access Online in 2018. “I don’t remember the last time I saw the other girls, but I told her to say the same thing to them. I feel like there’s just been enough time and distance away from the situation that we’re all genuinely in a good place right now. And honestly, there’s just no time in life for that stuff. Like, what’s the point?”

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Jesy Nelson

Jesy Nelson

Jesy Nelson announced that she was leaving Little Mix in December 2020, so that she could focus on her well being.

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“The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations in my head,” she wrote on Instagram. “There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focussing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time t begin that process. So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I’m announcing I’m leaving Little Mix.”

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She continued, “I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy. I’m ready to embark on a new chapter in my life — I’m not sure what it’s going to look like right now, but I hope you’ll still be there to support me.”

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And her bandmates — Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock — were nothing but supportive of her decision. They responded on Instagram at the time, “After an amazing nine years together, Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy. We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being.”

Nelson later explained that the constant comparison to the other girls in the group is what led to her departure.

“I was bigger than the other three, and there’s never really been that in a girl group,” she told Cosmopolitan. “I was classed as the obese, fat one. I can’t believe how miserable I was.”

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She explained that when they were filming the “Sweet Melody” music video, she suffered from a major panic attack on set because she “didn’t look how she wanted to look.”

“We’d been in lockdown, and [that had been] the first time I could have a break and be at home around people that I love. It was the happiest I’d ever felt, and I didn’t realize that until I went back to work. I immediately became a different person. I had anxiety,” she recalled. “[While filming the video] I found it so hard to just be happy and enjoy myself. I looked at the other three and they were having the time of their life. I get so jealous, because I want to feel like that and enjoy it, because music is my passion. To have this dream and not be enjoying it because of what I look like, I knew wasn’t normal.”

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Wonho

Wonho

According to reports, Wonho left the K-pop group Monsta X after rumors started to spread online that he had smoked marijuana and stole money from someone.

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“I carefully ask that you at least give support and encouragement to the members [of Monsta X]. They are people who are too good to stop and get hurt like this because of someone like me,” he wrote in a statement at the time, as translated by Soompi. “I am so thankful and apologetic to the staff [of Starship Entertainment], members and lastly our fans who have allowed me to enjoy such happiness until this point.”

After his departure, the police started an investigation into the matter, but in March 2020, Starship Entertainment announced that he had been cleared of all charges by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

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He later said in an interview, “I didn’t want to see Monsta X break apart because of me. I thought the group could be saved if I left the group as soon as possible. I promised so much to fans and said I’d always be by their side. It’s regrettable that I had to leave this way. I can’t forget my fans still and all I have is regret, like I should’ve done better? I just want to say ‘sorry.’”

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Drew Chadwick

Drew Chadwick

Back in 2013, everyone was obsessed with the band Emblem3. That’s why in 2014, the whole world was shocked when Drew Chadwick announced that he was leaving to pursue a solo career.

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“We’re sad to see Drew go but he will always be our brother, and we couldn’t be happier for him as he starts his new journey as a solo artist,” the band wrote at the time. “Drew sends hugs out to all the Emblems.”

The other two members — Wesley and Keaton Stromberg — continued to make music without him.

“We know many of you may be concerned about what this means for Emblem3, but I can assure you this is just the beginning! Me and Keaton started this band when we were 9 and 11 years old and we will continue making music for our fans,” Wesley promised right after Chadwick left. “We love you with all our heart.”

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As for why he decided to go off on his own, Chadwick later told J-14, “It was beyond a decision. It was kind of like, at one point it was a decision and I wouldn’t make up my mind and then it was like, just, bam, I know I have to do this. This is my calling.”

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