Barenaked Ladies singer quits band

Remaining members continuing to record, tour

TORONTO -- Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page, who was arrested for cocaine possession last July, is leaving the Canadian rock band to begin a solo career. The departure follows a tumultuous 2008 for the band which saw Page sentenced to six months probation for the drug charge and band member Ed Robertson survive an August plane crash.

"By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies," the band wrote on its official Web site. "Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn, Ed Robertson, and Tyler Stewart will continue recording and touring together as Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page will pursue solo projects including theatrical opportunities while the band enters the studio in April 2009, and hits the road in the fall."

"These guys are my brothers," Page said. "We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future."

In a Dec. 3 blog posting, Page stated he was "doing great" after losing 40 pounds. "Yes, it's been a terrible year for the band, and for me personally, but there have also been many things to be happy and grateful for: Falling in love, a renewed sense of peace, the best health of my adult life, some amazing creative and artistic opportunities, and the chance for a renewed and fruitful relationship with my band, friends and loved ones."

The band, which released a children's album entitled "Snack Time" last year, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a boxed set.

The group also recently completed its Ships and Dip Caribbean cruise with a lineup featuring Sarah McLachlan, Great Big Sea, the Weakerthans, Sloan and "Kids In The Hall" members Kevin McDonald and Dave Foley.

In 2005, Page, working with songwriter Stephen Duffy, released a "solo" album under the name the Vanity Project.
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