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Bye, bye, bye: Latin American boy band CNCO loses member


NEW YORK — The Latin American boy band CNCO is downsizing.

The group announced on its official Instagram page Sunday that 22-year-old Joel Pimentel is leaving the band, making the successful quintet a quartet.

“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. 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," the statement read from remaining members Richard Camacho, Erick Brian Colón, Christopher Vélez and Zabdiel De Jesús.

“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!"

CNCO, whose members range in age from 20 to 25, formed in 2015 on the Univision music competition series “La Banda," created by Ricky Martin and Simon Cowell. CNCO also announced that the group will have its final performance as a fivesome on Friday.

“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," they said of the upcoming livestreaming concert. “We love you and will see you very soon!"

CNCO has had major success on the 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 honours 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.

Over the years many popular boy bands have lost members. The results have varied — some members are replaced, some groups disband and others move forward. Zayn Malik left One Direction in 2015 and the group continued without him, while 'N Sync never released music after Justin Timberlake dropped his Grammy-winning solo debut in 2002.

In a second statement released to The Associated Press, CNCO said the band has “become a family, a brotherhood, and we want the CNCOwners to know that will never change."

“We are stronger than ever and this is just the beginning for us. We have so many exciting things that we’re working on that will be coming out very soon and we can’t wait to share with all of you!," the statement continued. “We love the CNCOwners so much, they are what keeps us going, and that’s why we wanted to give them this livestream as a gift to see the 5 of us together one last time."

Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press

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