Rock Bands And Artist That Called It Quits In 2023

Rock Bands And Artist That Called It Quits In 2023 | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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As much as music remains unpredictable, spontaneous, and surprising, the music industry itself undergoes familiar challenges year after year.

Genres like pop, rock, and country are in a constant state of evolution, with new bands forming and aspiring artists honing their skills. This cycle of musical life sees emerging talents and superstars taking the stage to replace those who either pass away, retire, or disband after decades of fame.

The year 2023 followed this pattern, albeit with a heightened level of activity as several major bands announced their separations, influential solo artists from the past chose to retire, and popular bands declared that their upcoming tour would mark their final performances.

Presented here is a compilation of cultural farewells, paying tribute to the musicians the world will have to miss beyond 2023 as they exit the stage or bid a permanent farewell to their microphones.

1. Fleetwood Mac

Founded by guitarists Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green, along with the rhythm section comprising Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Fleetwood Mac originated in the late 1960s as an electric blues ensemble.

Undergoing some lineup changes, the band transformed into a prominent soft rock force in the 1970s, notably with the addition of vocalist Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Christine McVie, already an experienced member of the British band Chicken Shack and John McVie’s wife, also joined the lineup.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Fleetwood Mac achieved immense success, particularly with the multi-platinum Rumours album. Christine played a critical role during this era, writing and singing lead on numerous iconic hits such as “Don’t Stop”, “You Make Loving Fun”, and “Hold Me”. Although Christine took a hiatus after the 1998 tour following their The Dance comeback album, she rejoined the band in 2014 for more touring and recording.

In November 2022, Christine McVie, who was undergoing cancer treatment, suffered a stroke and passed away at the age of 79. Nicks, who called McVie her “musical soul mate and best friend” was understandably heartbroken. Regarding the continuation of Fleetwood Mac after McVie’s demise, Nicks firmly stated, “We really can’t go any further with this. There’s no reason to.”

2. Elton John

Elton John is a lynchpin in the musical landscape spanning the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, he consistently delivered timeless hits, showcasing the piano as a formidable instrument in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll.

Collaborating with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Taupin, who handled the lyrics, John contributed melodies, vocals, and instrumental prowess to numerous classics and chart-toppers. Notable among these are “Your Song”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man”, and the record-breaking “Candle in the Wind”, dedicated to the late Princess Diana in 1997.

Accolades showered upon John include five Grammy Awards, two Academy Awards for soundtrack contributions to The Lion King and Rocketman, and a Tony Award for his musical score in Aida. Known for filling stadiums with his electrifying performances over the decades, John’s decision to conclude touring was met with five years of persistent audience demand.

In July 2023, his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, consisting of 330 shows and grossing over $900 million, concluded with a memorable concert in Stockholm, Sweden. Although John may not frequently grace the stage, there are hints of a new album in the works, as both he and Taupin revealed in 2023 that they were separately working on a fresh collection of music.

3. Aerosmith

Boasting a sales record of nearly 70 million albums over its five-decade-plus existence, Aerosmith holds the second spot on the list of the most commercially successful American bands, trailing only the Eagles. Often likened to the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith carved its niche with a blues-influenced, hard-rocking, and hard-partying sound.

The band maintained its enduring presence without significant alterations to its signature sound. From iconic hits in the ’70s like “Walk This Way” and “Dream On” to those in the ’80s such as “Rag Doll” and “Love in an Elevator”, and into the ’90s with tracks like “Livin’ on the Edge” and “Cryin'”, Aerosmith consistently produced memorable music.

In May 2023, after a significant tour in 2015 and a Las Vegas residency, Aerosmith announced its imminent winding down. The Peace Out tour, comprising 40 shows scheduled from September 2023 to January 2024, faced a setback when Steven Tyler suffered a severe vocal cords strain leading to a larynx fracture.

Consequently, future dates were postponed, and after being medically prohibited from singing for 30 days, the last-ever Aerosmith performance was rescheduled to take place in Cleveland on February 29, 2024.

4. Eagles

Crafting narrative-style songs adorned with jangly guitars and exquisite harmonies, the Eagles amassed numerous hits and achieved multimillion album sales. Dominating the American music scene in the ’70s, the band claimed the title of the best-selling American band, with Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975 and Hotel California holding the top spots as the No. 1 and No. 3 best-selling LPs in American music history, respectively.

Despite the success, tensions simmered among the musicians who produced seemingly laid-back tracks like “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling”. Internal conflicts, including threats of onstage altercations between Don Felder and Glenn Frey, surfaced during what appeared to be the band’s final concert in 1980. 

The unexpected and enduring reunion occurred in 1994 with the release of the self-aware live album Hell Freezes Over. The revitalized band went on to produce the 2007 record Long Road Out of Eden and maintained a regular touring schedule, even after the passing of Glenn Frey.

In 2023, the Eagles embarked on the Hotel California 2023 Tour, featuring performances of the entire album. This series of concerts marked the precursor to The Long Goodbye, signaling the beginning of the Eagles’ farewell tour. On their website, the band announced a 13-date series of concerts scheduled for late 2023.


KISS has strategically branded itself by slapping its name, logo, and image on a diverse array of products, ranging from coffins to toys and even a coffeehouse. The band excels not only in its production values but also in marketing expertise. Declaring a tour as the final one often generates significant hype, leading to increased ticket sales.

Despite embarking on what was purported to be a farewell tour from 2000 to 2002, KISS continued to forge ahead. However, this time, their second farewell tour truly marks the conclusion of the band’s 50-year journey.

The protracted farewell began with KISS’ End of the Road tour in January 2019, with 2020 performances postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the group expanded the tour with approximately 100 additional shows, extending the farewell journey into 2023. The concluding leg of the tour commenced with a show in Austin on October 29 and is set to culminate with two major concerts in the band’s hometown of New York City in early December 2023.

Reflecting on this milestone, the members of Kiss collectively expressed, “It will be a privilege and honor to finish touring at Madison Square Garden, 10 blocks and 50 years from where we first started.”

6. Kenny Loggins

Having navigated the music industry in one form or another for over five decades, Kenny Loggins embarked on his musical journey in 1970 by contributing songs to a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album. Shortly thereafter, he teamed up with former Poco member Jim Messina to form the folk-rock duo Loggins and Messina.

As the ’70s came to a close, Loggins transitioned into the realm of shiny, meticulously produced yacht rock. Notably, he co-wrote the Doobie Brothers’ “What a Fool Believes” and achieved personal success with hits like “This Is It” and “Whenever I Call You Friend” (featuring Stevie Nicks).

The ’80s marked Loggins as the soundtrack single maestro, delivering chart-topping hits for films such as Caddyshack (“I’m Alright”), Footloose (the title song), and Top Gun (“Danger Zone”). While he continued to tour into the 21st century, Loggins took a hiatus from solo album releases since 2009.

In 2023, he announced his decision to sunset the performance aspect of his career, stating in a reflective statement, “It’s been an amazing journey since starting with Jimmy Messina in 1971, and I’m fortunate to have had such a long touring career. I don’t see this as the end of my professional career but certainly a halt to the grind of major touring.”

7. Dead & Company

For a span of three decades, the Grateful Dead stood as an unwavering phenomenon, embodying the essence of hippie-rock jam bands and preserving the countercultural spirit of the late ’60s. The band not only gave rise to a subculture and a self-sustained economy but also established a distinctive library of imagery, including skeletons, dancing bears, and tie-dye, all embraced by their devoted followers known as “Deadheads”.

Extending beyond the conventional definition of a band, the Grateful Dead faced a turning point when Jerry Garcia, the chief creative force, lead singer, and primary songwriter, passed away at the age of 53 in 1995.

Various members continued to collaborate in different configurations, culminating in the Fare Thee Well shows in 2015. Subsequently, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, integral figures from the Grateful Dead, were eager to reconnect with their fans. They enlisted pop-rocker John Mayer and formed Dead & Company, a supergroup that became a living link to rock history, performing numerous shows over nearly a decade.

However, the current iteration of the Grateful Dead franchise, in the form of Dead & Company, seems poised to conclude its journey. In October 2022, Mayer announced through his Instagram account that the upcoming summer 2023 tour would mark the final chapter for Dead & Company.

8. Foreigner

Foreigner dominated the airwaves of rock radio during the late 1970s and early 1980s, solidifying its status as a cornerstone of classic rock stations thereafter. Fronted by the powerful vocals of Lou Gramm and complemented by the catchy guitar riffs of Mick Jones, Foreigner produced a plethora of arena rock anthems, including “Urgent”, “Juke Box Hero”, “Double Vision”, and “Cold as Ice”.

While making a significant impact on the pop charts with poignant power ballads like “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and the chart-topping “I Want to Know What Love Is”, the band contributed to the sale of millions of albums.

After parting ways with Foreigner for a solo venture in 1989, Gramm reunited in 1992, departed again in 2003, and eventually returned, continuing to tour with the band well into the new century and even releasing a live album in 2018. Following health challenges in 2011 and a heart surgery in 2012, Jones transitioned into a part-time role within Foreigner, occasionally joining the band for concerts based on his health condition.

However, this arrangement is slated to conclude, as Foreigner announced in late 2022 that a final tour is scheduled for 2023. Reflecting on the group’s longevity, Jones remarked to Billboard, “By the end of our farewell tour, over 50 years will have passed, and that’s a long time to be on the road.”

9. Mr. Big

Functioning primarily as a hard and heavy rock band with near-metal influences, Mr. Big comprised technically skilled musicians who had previously been part of other moderately successful projects. Among them, Billy Sheehan had played bass for David Lee Roth, guitarist Paul Gilbert had a history with Racer X, and singer Eric Martin had a solo career in the mid-’80s that didn’t resonate with audiences.

Despite the modest reception of their 1989 self-titled debut in the U.S., it became a massive hit in Japan. The band continued with their heavy sound on the 1991 album Lean Into It, which featured the unexpected No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit, “To Be With You”, a ballad characterized by Martin’s heartfelt vocals, Gilbert’s acoustic guitar, and some handclaps.

Over the years, Mr. Big enjoyed a few more minor hits and released over a dozen albums, catering to their dedicated fanbase in Japan well into the 2010s. Gilbert departed from Mr. Big in 1999, leading to the band’s split in 2002. They reunited in 2010 and faced the challenge of drummer Pat Torpey’s passing in 2018.

Following these events, Mr. Big took an extended break, officially declaring their retirement in March 2023. Billy Sheehan commented on the 2023 tour in a statement, saying, “We wanted to do a proper farewell, and this seems like the right way to do it.”

10. NOFX

As the quintessential pop-punk band, NOFX operated on the outskirts of the rock mainstream for approximately four decades. Helmed by the witty frontman and founder Michael “Fat Mike” Burkett, NOFX crafted albums filled with brief, high-energy punk songs infused with political commentary, humor, and a pop sensibility.

Notable among NOFX’s best-selling albums are The War on Errorism, Never Trust a Hippy, and 45 or 46 Songs That Weren’t Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records. After an extensive period with Epitaph Records, home to influential punk bands like Bad Religion and the Offspring, NOFX transitioned to Fat Wreck Chords.

Co-founded by Fat Mike specifically for his own band, Fat Wreck Chords would later release projects for major punk acts such as Rancid, Against Me!, and Descendents.

In 2021, NOFX unveiled its 14th LP, Single Album. However, in September 2022, Fat Mike announced on Instagram that the band would be disbanding in 2023. Reflecting on the decision, he stated, “It’s been an amazing run. Los Angeles will be the last place we play. It’s where we started, it’s where we’ll end.”