When it comes to music, the only thing constant is change. Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of our favorite music groups from over the years to pinpoint the individuals responsible for their demise. Keep reading to get the scoop on who broke up the band, starting with The Beatles… The Beatles released their first album, "Please Please Me," in 1963. By 1970, they were through. (That's right: They created their impressive catalogue in less than a decade.) So who's to blame for the split?
Over the years, Yoko Ono has borne the brunt of the blame for The Beatles' demise — according to popular myth, she exacerbated infighting between husband John Lennon and bandmate Paul McCartney. But in reality, the group had issues long before she entered the picture. For decades, Paul has often played the scapegoat in stories about the band's breakup, but in an October 2021 interview on the BBC Radio 4 series "This Cultural Life," Paul said John was responsible for the Fab Four's split. Asked about his decision to launch a solo career, Paul, 79, told the interviewer, "Stop right there," per The Guardian. "I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, 'I am leaving The Beatles.' Is that instigating the split, or not?" Paul added that John, who was murdered in 1980, told the group he found the announcement "quite thrilling," and called it "rather like a divorce." Ultimately, Paul said, he and bandmates Ringo Starr and George Harrison "were left to pick up the pieces," which took months. According to Paul, the group's then-new manager urged the musicians not to disclose their breakup plans until after he'd wrapped up a few remaining deals for them. "So for a few months we had to pretend," Paul explained. "It was weird because we all knew it was the end of The Beatles but we couldn't just walk away." Paul said he finally got "fed up with hiding" the news, so he announced that the band was no more in 1970. The BBC Radio 4 interview also features Paul's take on Yoko's role in the band's life — and he's clear that he doesn't blame her for their demise. "They were a great couple," he said of John and Yoko. "There was huge strength there."
The Spice Girls are arguably the biggest girl group of all time, but their reign came to an abrupt end after "Bratty Spice" decided to quit the band in 1998… just two years after they made their debut with their hit album "Spice." Which member took responsibility for the breakup in 2019?
The four remaining members of the Spice Girls — Victoria Beckham, Mel B, Melanie C and Emma Bunton — released one more album, 2000's "Forever," after Geri Halliwell left the group in 1998, and although she briefly reunited with them for three months in late 2007 and early 2008 for the "Return of the Spice Girls" tour, things were never the same. When the group reunited yet again for the 2019 "Spice World" tour, they did it as a foursome — sans Posh Spice. During the final tour stop in London, the erstwhile Ginger Spice officially apologized for leaving the band: "I'm sorry I left. I was just being a brat," she said. She added more insight into her decision to walk away in the 2007 documentary "Giving You Everything," saying that she felt she'd "given all" she could. "I felt like I didn't belong anymore. They didn't need me anymore really, and I definitely felt very redundant. I kind of threw in the towel and gave up," Geri said.
Although they initially referred to their time apart as a hiatus, it's now clear that One Direction actually broke up back in 2016. So who's to blame?
In March 2015, One Direction released a statement announcing that Zayn Malik had officially quit the band. "I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22 year old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight," he said at the time. The remaining members of the group — Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson — closed out their "On the Road Again" tour in October 2015 as a foursome, but their final performance together came just two months later during a New Year's Eve concert.
In late 2016, Fifth Harmony suddenly went from a group of five to a group of four. Less than a year later, the remaining band members released their (ironically?) self-titled third album. After their accompanying tour came to an end, they went on indefinite hiatus. Who was the first singer to give 5H the boot?
In December 2016, Normani, Lauren Jauregui, Ally Brooke and Dinah Jane released a statement announcing that they'd been "informed via her representatives" that Camila Cabello had decided to leave Fifth Harmony. Ouch! In early 2018, the remaining band members announced that they were taking an indefinite hiatus… that's seemingly turned into a permanent breakup as the girls have focused on their work as solo artists.
*NSYNC devastated fans around the globe when they suddenly went on hiatus following the conclusion of their "Celebrity" tour in mid-2002. Although the boys claimed at the time that they simply needed a break, their time apart stretched on as certain members of the boy band branched further into solo endeavors. "We thought we were getting back together," Joey Fatone told HuffPost years later. But sadly, that wasn't the case. Turns out, there's one person to blame…
In his 2007 book "Out of Sync," Lance Bass placed the blame for *NSYNC's breakup on bandmate Justin Timberlake: "We're definitely broken up. It's not a hiatus. Justin made it clear that he wouldn't be interested in discussing another album any time soon," he wrote. Added Joey Fatone while speaking to HuffPost in 2018, "It was, 'OK, after [Justin] does his thing, blah, blah, blah, we'll get back together and move forward and do what we got to do. And then it was like, nope. The record company wanted to push Justin, I guess, is what it was. He got bigger and bigger, which is honestly great for him and I'm totally happy for him in that sense, but it was more or less weird that there wasn't an explanation to say we're not going to do it, period. I was a little bit on hold for a moment and it was like, 'OK, we got to s*** or get off the pot.'" The group also included JC Chasez and Chris Kirkpatrick.
Oasis drew comparisons to The Beatles when they made their debut in the early '90s — not just because their music was heavily influenced by the '60s band but also because they dominated English pop culture for roughly a decade. "What Oasis has done in Britain, unifying an entire country under the banner of a single pop act, a band could no longer achieve in a country like the U.S. In Britain the band reigns unchallenged as the most popular act since The Beatles, there is an Oasis CD in roughly one of every three homes there," journalist Neil Strauss wrote in The New York Times. Sadly, the group was plagued by infighting between brothers Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher. They officially disbanded in 2009. Can you remember who officially pulled the plug?
In 2009, Noel Gallagher posted this statement on the official Oasis website: "It is with some sadness and great relief…I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer." It wasn't the first time Noel walked away from the band during a row with brother Liam Gallagher, but it was apparently the last. For years after, the duo bashed each other in the press.
The Fugees shot into the spotlight with their debut album, 1994's "Blunted on Reality," and hit an absurd level of fame with their 1996 cover of "Killing Me Softly." But just as quickly as they took off, the trio — which consisted of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras — were done. So what went wrong?
Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean notoriously had an affair while he was married to designer Marie Claudinette. Their ups and downs as a couple finally came to an end when she got pregnant with another man's child… and lied about the baby's parentage to her off-and-on love and bandmate. In his 2012 memoir "Purpose," Wyclef squarely blamed Lauryn for the group's breakup, writing that when he found out she lied about the baby "something died between us." Wrote the rapper-actor, "I was married and Lauryn and I were having an affair, but she led me to believe that the baby was mine, and I couldn't forgive that. She could no longer be my muse. Our love spell was broken." (Lauryn welcomed her first child, son Zion Marley, with Bob Marley's son Rohan Marley in 1997.) In 2021, however, the Fugees performed together for the first time in 15 years as part of an international tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their hit sophomore album "The Score."
British boy band The Wanted seemed like they were set to become the next big thing when they made their debut in 2010. But everything fell apart after they starred on an E! reality show, "The Wanted Life," in 2013. As usual, the public painted the blame on a woman: Siva Kaneswaran's then-girlfriend, Nareesha McCaffrey, casting her as The Wanted's own Yoko Ono. But who really caused the group's early 2014 split?
In January 2014 — just a week after The Wanted announced that they were calling it quits — Max George bragged to The Sun that he'd "already been signed with CAA, a big agency in Hollywood" and planned to "move to L.A., get a house and settle there." Said the singer, "I'm going to do auditions and learn the business. There's talk of a couple of roles already." (He went on to star on six episodes of "Glee" in 2015.) Still, he attributed the breakup to other factors, saying that there'd been "a lot of tension" between himself and bandmates Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker and Nathan Sykes. "Our personal lives drove us apart," he said. "Things started to happen and we were drifting. We used to be such a brotherly pact, but it started to feel like it wasn't The Wanted anymore." He went on to say that when their manager asked them "who would want to take a step out after the tour and try to do their own thing," both he and Nathan said they had "other ambitions." (Scapegoat much?) Continued Max, "We were more prepared than the others because we'd looked at how things had been going with the band over the past few months." Still, Nathan didn't release his solo album, "Unfinished Business," until more than two years later. (So who's really to blame?!) There was good news for The Wanted fans in 2021, though: In September, the group reunited for the first time in seven years to perform at a charity concert. They also announced that they're releasing a greatest hits album in November 2021 that will include new music. Their first new single, "Rule the World," dropped in October 2021.
Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, Sabrina Bryan and Raven-Symoné starred as the titular girl group in the Disney Channel's 2003 made-for-TV movie "The Cheetah Girls" and its 2006 sequel. The TV band released several albums and even toured together, but their time as a group was plagued by drama. They officially disbanded after one of the Cheetahs refused to appear in the third installment in the film franchise. Which one was it?!
In March 2020, Kiely Williams called out Adrienne Bailon on Instagram Live, alleging that her former bandmate pretended to be her best friend during their time as Cheetah Girls. "You were either lying then or you're lying now," she said. "You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me — or you were pretending to be my best friend and now you're telling the truth." Despite the decade-old drama between the two women, it was actually Raven-Symoné who refused to appear in 2008's "The Cheetah Girls: One World." She explained during an April 2020 Instagram Live with Kiely that the group's "cliquish way" made her "feel excluded." She added that they had "weird personal [issues] outside of business." Although the remaining band members went ahead with the third film, they disbanded after the movie debuted in August 2008.
Though they've since reunited, there was a long period of time during which it seemed extremely unlikely that the Jonas Brothers would ever make sweet, sweet music together again. When they canceled their late-2013 tour just a month before they were set to hit the road, their representative released a statement saying, "There is a deep rift within the band. There was a big disagreement over their music direction." In 2019, one of the siblings officially took responsibility for breaking up the group all those years ago…
During a 2019 interview with "CBS Sunday Morning" to promote their first new album in a decade, Nick Jonas said he's to blame for the Jonas Brothers' 2013 split. "To call it creative differences is almost too simple," he said, adding that at the time, he felt they were making music they weren't "super proud of." Recalled the youngest JoBro, "I said, 'You know, I feel like the Jonas Brothers should be no more, and we should go on individual journeys.' And it didn't go so well. … I feared that, you know, we — they would never speak to me again." Fortunately, that wasn't the case, and now the band — which also includes Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas — is back and better than ever.