Jason Orange Quits Take That

We knew that Robbie Williams was not going to be a part of Take That‘s upcoming seventh studio album (due to artistic and personal commitments), but news came today that member Jason Orange has decided to permanently quit the popular UK band.

“I want to start by saying how proud I am of what we have achieved together over the years,” Orange, 44, says in a statement posted on Take That’s official site. “However, at a band meeting last week I confirmed to Mark, Gary and Howard that I do not wish to commit to recording and promoting a new album.”

Boy band Take That formed in 1991, but originally broke up in 1996 following the departures of singers Robbie Williams and, eventually, Gary Barlow, who both went on to pursue solo careers. Nearly a decade later, the group reunited (sans Williams) in 2005 to take part in a UK documentary on their career and promote a greatest hits package.

Members Barlow, Orange, Howard Donald and Mark Owen subsequently recorded two more albums together as Take That, 2006’s Beautiful World and 2008’s Circus, before reuniting with Williams for 2010’s Progress. It was apparently around this time that Orange began having doubts about carrying on with the group.

His statement continues:

I have spent some of the best years of my life with Take That and I’d like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey, including my band mates, who I feel are like brothers to me. Most especially my gratitude goes to all of the good and kind, beautiful and ever-loyal fans of the band, without whom none of this could have been possible. Thank you.

At the end of The Progress Tour I began to question whether it might be the right time for me to not continue on with Take That. At the start of this year and with my full knowledge and blessing the guys began writing new material. There have been no fallings out, only a decision on my part that I no longer wish to do this. I know how much Mark, Gary and Howard enjoy writing and making music, and they know that they have my full support and encouragement to continue on with what is to be another chapter for the band.

Barlow, Donald and Owen also posted the following joint statement on the official Take That site:

This is a sad day for us. Jason leaving is a huge loss both professionally and even more so personally. We first became aware of Jason’s reservations a couple of years ago but had hoped that by giving him the desired time and space he may begin to feel differently. This has not been the case and we now have to accept and fully respect his decision which we know hasn’t been an easy one. Jason’s energy and belief in what this band could achieve has made it what it is today, and we’ll forever be grateful for his enthusiasm, dedication and inspiration over the years.

Take That began working on their upcoming album earlier this year. Whether or not the three remaining members plan to carry on indefinitely as a trio remains to be seen.

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