Kevin Richardson (33) has split from the pop group The Backstreet Boys to pursue other interest and move on to the chapter in life, according to statements posted on the band’s website on Saturday.
In the statement, Richardson said “It was a very tough decision for me but one that was necessary in order to move on with the next chapter of my life.”
The Florida “boy” band rose to the top of the pop charts in the 90s with a string of hit singles and dance charged videos that helped establish the “look” of several bands that followed in the group’s footsteps. With three albums, the group sold more than 30 million copies and sold out arenas during their various tours.
The Backstreet Boys broke from the road and recording in 2001 when singer A.J. McLean entered rehab during the group’s “Black and Blue” tour. He rejoined the band in 2005 and they again hit the charts with the release of ‘Never Gone.’
On the group’s website, members said that Richardson will be welcomed back if he ever wishes to return, and that they had no plans to replace him.
“The door will always be open for him to return to the Backstreet Boys. We wish him the all the best in his future endeavors,” they said on the band’s Web site.
The group (now consisting of McLean, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, and Brian Littrell) still plan to record a new album this summer which is scheduled to be release late this year.