When Destiny's Child released their fifth studio album, "Destiny Fulfilled," on Nov. 15, 2004, few knew it would be their last. The trio — Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams and Beyonce — revealed they were disbanding seven months later at their June 11, 2005, concert in Barcelona to a stadium of more than 16,000 heartbroken fans. The album, which featured songs like "Lose My Breath," "Soldier" and "Girl," reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and managed to go triple platinum in America. In honor of their final album's 15th anniversary, Wonderwall.com is remembering the last works of bands who broke up — including a few who recently reunited! Keep reading for more…
Technically, the Black Eyed Peas — consisting of members Apl.de.ap, Fergie, Taboo and will.i.am — didn't break up. However, in 2011, the hip-hop group famous for hit songs like "I Got A Feeling," "Where is the Love?" and "Pump It" decided to go on an indefinite hiatus. In 2017 — one year after Taboo revealed his testicular cancer diagnosis — will.i.am spoke about their future while also confirming that Fergie had officially left the group to focus on her solo career. The last album they released with Fergie was 2010's ironically titled "The Beginning." In 2018, the remaining members of the Peas released their seventh studio album, "Masters of the Sun – Vol. 1." As promised, Fergie was not featured on any of the tracks.
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Although The Beatles' last album before they parted ways was 1970's "Let it Be," their actual final album, "Abbey Road," was released a year earlier. Confused? Let us explain. The Beatles — George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon — recorded "Let it Be" in January 1969 before they recorded "Abbey Road." However, "Abbey Road" was released first, leading generations of fans to believe that the iconic band's penultimate album was actually their last.
The Pussycat Dolls took the world by storm in 2005, but feuding between members Jessica Sutta, Kimberly Wyatt, Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts and Melody Thornton made their success short-lived. Prior to their 2010 demise, their last studio album was 2008's platinum-selling "Doll Domination," which was followed by the 2009 EP "Doll Domination – The Mini Collection," which featured songs like "Whatcha Think About That" and "When I Grow Up." Since their breakup, nearly all the members have disappeared from the spotlight except lead singer Nicole, who's still famous today.
Despite releasing their No. 1 album "Synchronicity" in 1983, The Police members Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland couldn't have been more out of sync in their professional lives. Constant fighting led them to disband in 1986, leaving hit songs like "King of Pain" and "Every Breath You Take" as some of their last.
Following the release of their sixth studio album, "Idlewild," in 2006, Outkast members Andre 3000 and Big Boi officially ended their hip-hop reign so Andre could focus on his acting career. The good news is that the duo are still close friends and even linked up in 2014 to go on tour for the 20th anniversary of their first album, 1994's "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik."
Infighting, addiction and a whole lot of ego led hard-rock legends Guns N' Roses to lose nearly all their members by the late '90s. The last body of work that featured Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and Axl Rose together before the band imploded was their 1993 platinum-selling fifth studio album, "The Spaghetti Incident?" The album featuring cover songs reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200. In 2008, Axl and keyboardist Dizzy Reed released their version of the band's final album, "Chinese Democracy," with a new lineup of musicians including Robin Finck, Paul Tobias, Tommy Stinson, Josh Freese and Chris Pitman under the Guns N' Roses name. While Axl vowed to never reunite with his old bandmates, he had a change of heart in 2016 after hashing out his issues with Slash, leading Guns N' Roses' original members to finally reunite. There's been no new music since they launched their "Not In This Lifetime" tour in 2016 but, if we've learned anything from this iconic band, it's never say never.
In 2008, English rock band Oasis released their seventh studio album, "Dig Out Your Soul," featuring songs like "I'm Outta Time" and "Falling Down." The album reached No. 1 in the U.K. and was by all accounts a commercial success. Sadly, that wasn't enough to mend the ever-growing rift between bandmates and brothers Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher. In 2009, Noel released a statement confirming that he'd left the band, blaming Liam's drinking and bad attitude for their inevitable demise.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel of Simon & Garfunkel were childhood friends-turned-bandmates who later became sworn musical enemies. The oft-battling pair reached their first end in 1970 following the release of their No. 1 chart-topping Grammy-winning album "Bridge Over Troubled Water." While the duo have reunited on and off over the years — and have released numerous greatest hits albums since — they've never made new music together and, according to Art, they never will.
Grammy-winning musicians Meg White and Jack White of The White Stripes released their first album in 1999. The former married couple — who also pretended to be brother and sister — announced their end as a rock duo in 2011 with a flowery statement explaining that they'd come to their decision for a "myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way." That meant their 2007 album, "Icky Thump" — which shot to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 — was also their last.
After firing Mick Jones (second from right) in 1983 and forcing Topper Headon (right) out due to his heroin addiction the year before, the remaining members of The Clash — Joe Strummer (left) and Paul Simonon (second from left) — had a hard time moving forward with their music. Although their last album with their original lineup would be their fifth studio venture, 1982's "Combat Rock," they went on to release one more poorly received album, 1985's "Cut the Crap" featuring three new members, Pete Howard, Nick Sheppard and Vince White. Due to infighting and an unsuccessful attempt at reinventing themselves, by 1986, the band was officially over.
The last album released by all five original members of the Spice Girls was 1997's quadruple-platinum "Spiceworld," which shot to No. 1 thanks in part to the success of their same-titled musical-comedy movie that also came out that year. At the height of their fame, Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell) decided to leave the group, citing "differences" between the members. The remaining four members — Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham), Baby Spice (Emma Bunton), Scary Spice (Mel Brown) and Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm) — continued on, releasing their actual final album, "Forever," in 2000. By then, the magic had faded and the group, once one of the top-selling girl groups of all time, parted ways. Although they reunited on tour in 2007 and again in 2019 (without Victoria), they've yet to release any new music.
The epic rise and eventual fall of Los Angeles-based rap group N.W.A. was documented in the 2015 Oscar-nominated biopic "Straight Outta Compton" (which was named after the group's 1988 debut studio album). Formed by rappers MC Ren (left), Eazy E (second from left), DJ Yella (second from right), Dr. Dre (right) and Ice Cube (not pictured), the group transformed a genre of music before infighting and greed caused Ice Cube to depart in '89. The remaining members released their final studio album, "N—-z4Life," in 1991 before Dr. Dre departed in '92, leaving the group without their key songwriter — effectively ending N.W.A. for good.
Twenty-eight years after R.E.M. released their debut studio album, "Murmur," they were ready to walk away from it all. Formed by members Bill Berry, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck in 1980, the Grammy-winning band went on to become icons in the world of alternative rock. Their last album with all four original members would turn out to be the 1996 chart-topping, platinum-selling "New Adventures in Hi-Fi," which came out a year before Bill would depart the band due to health problems and a need for change. They continued as a trio for the next decade and a half, releasing their 15th and final studio album, "Collapse Into Now," in 2011 — the same year they decided they'd reached the end of their road together.
The overwhelming success the Eagles (seen here in 1974) achieved after releasing their eponymous debut album in 1972 led to a toxic relationship between original members Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Randy Meisner and Don Felder. In '75, the band released their fourth studio album, "One of These Nights," which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard chart, ultimately going quadruple-platinum. The album would be their last featuring all five musicians before Bernie left the same year and was replaced by Joe Walsh. Randy departed in '77 and was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit. But in 1980, the band was officially kaput, making their 1979 album, "The Long Run," their last… for almost 30 years. In 2007, Don, Glenn, Joe and Timothy reunited to release their other last album, "Long Road Out of Eden." Following Glenn's death from pneumonia in 2016, Don announced that the Eagles were officially over for good, saying, "I don't see how we could go out and play without the guy who started the band."
While Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik of the British boy band One Direction might not have confirmed an official breakup — the official line is that they're just on "hiatus" — all signs point to them being over for good. Four months after their chart-topping, platinum-selling fourth studio album, "Four," debuted in November 2014, Zayn walked away from the group and to focused on his solo career. The four remaining members released one final album, 2015's "Made in the A.M.," which, despite being a commercial success, wasn't enough to keep the group together. That same year, they announced that they were taking a break but promised their fans they weren't done for good. However, in 2018, the chances of a reunion seemed even less likely when Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis officially closed their touring company, RollCall.
Psychedelic British rock band Pink Floyd emerged in the 1960s, but it wasn't until they replaced their lead singer, Syd Barrett (not pictured), that the band found worldwide acclaim. Members Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Rick Wright, and David Gilmour (who replaced Syd) began their rock 'n' roll ascent with 1969's "Ummagumma" before hitting it big with 1973's 14-times-platinum album "Dark Side of the Moon." After losing and gaining members over the years, the band would ultimately release their final album, "The Endless River," in 2014 using previously recorded but unreleased songs, including music Rick recorded before his death in 2008.
My Chemical Romance — which included members Bob Bryar, Ray Toro, Mikey Way, Gerard Way and Frank Iero — defined the emo-meets-punk sound of the early 2000s but by 2013, their journey had came to an end. Their final studio album, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys," came out in 2010 and was followed by "Conventional Weapons," an album of 10 unreleased songs recorded back in 2009 but released in 2012 and 2013. While the world mourned their decision to call it quits, 2019 brought the exciting news that they were reuniting for a tour. While it's unclear if MCR will record any new music in the future, there's hope that fans have yet to actually hear their final album.
Alternative British rock band the Verve — featuring musicians Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Peter Salisbury and Simon Jones — broke up and reunited more times than we can count, but have seemingly committed to being done with each other since 2009. After a second major rift in 1999 following the release of their wildly successful third studio album, "Urban Hymns," the band parted ways only to reunite in 2008 and release their final final album, "Forth," that same year. In 2017, Nick spoke to NME and indicated it would be more likely that warring ex-band members and brothers Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher of Oasis would patch up their differences and reunite before the Verve ever did.
Sadly, the iconic '90s grunge band Nirvana didn't break up because of infighting or addiction, but rather because their lead singer, Kurt Cobain (center) committed suicide in April 1994. Their last album was 1993's five-times-platinum, chart-topping "In Utero," which featured songs like "Heart Shaped Box" and "All Apologies." Remaining members Dave Grohl (left), Krist Novoselic (right) as well as touring guitarist Pat Smear (not shown) parted ways following Kurt's death, with Dave forming the popular rock band Foo Fighters that same year.
First formed in the late '80s, American grunge band Hole — featuring original members Courtney Love, Caroline Rue, Eric Erlandson and Jill Emery — made their studio album debut with 1991's "Pretty on the Inside." The band, which lost and gained members over the years, suffered from dysfunction and addiction, leading to their last studio album, the platinum-selling "Celebrity Skin" in 1998. After officially breaking up in 2002, the band later reunited and release their final album, 2010's "Nobody's Daughter," before parting ways for good.
The Fugees' brief but powerful time in the hip-hop music scene brought two explosive studio albums and a love triangle that rivals a Hollywood drama. Founding member Wyclef Jean (center) and his mentee, Lauryn Hill, developed a passionate romance while Wyclef was dating and later married to his current wife, Claudinette Jean. Their fiery chemistry and talent, along with member Pras's vocal stylings, gave birth to their debut 1994 album, "Blunted by Reality," which they followed with their final studio album, "The Score," in 1996. In 1997, the group broke up following Lauryn's relationship and pregnancy with musician Ziggy Marley.
Nine years after Soundgarden emerged on the alternative rock scene, they parted ways over creative differences in 1997. However, 13 years later, members Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron and Chris Cornell — who was also a founding member of bands Audioslave and Temple of the Dog — began working on their sixth studio album, "King Animal," which was released in 2012. Following Chris's suicide in 2017, Kim revealed that they'd been working on new music while touring but had decided to bring the Soundgarden legacy to a close.
1970s Swedish pop band ABBA — consisting of married couples Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus — met their end in 1983 after both marriages crumbled under the weight of their immense success. While their final studio album was 1981's "The Visitors," the band — who regained renewed fame following the 2008 musical "Mamma Mia!" and the 2018 sequel "Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again," which were both based on their music — also released the 1982 compilation album "The Singles" prior to their breakup. In 2018, ABBA reunited and even recorded two new singles, "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down," which will be a part of their 2019-2020 virtual tour.
Late-'90s alternative rock band New Radicals — featuring members Bradley Fernquist, Josh Freese, Gregg Alexander and Sasha Krivtsov — have the distinction of being the only band on our list whose first album was also their last. After debuting in 1998 with "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too," the band found worldwide acclaim for its lead single, "You Get What You Give." Then, as suddenly as they appeared on the world music scene, Gregg, the band's frontman, announced via a press release that they were over, choosing to retreat to the production side of music making, forever ending what might have been an illustrious music career for the New Radicals.