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Lead singer Jeff Coffey exits Chicago, second member to leave band in a week

Lead singer Jeff Coffey exits Chicago, second member to leave band in a week
Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 13:04:51-05

(RNN) – It’s been a turbulent week for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Chicago.

On Friday, leader singer and bassist Jeff Coffey announced his exit from the group. The news came two days after longtime drummer Tris Imboden said he was leaving the band.

“I am coming to you today with a heavy heart to announce that I am also leaving Chicago,” Coffey said in a post to his Facebook page. “In fact, we both played our last show earlier this week.”

Chicago’s last concert was Jan. 13 at Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA.

Coffey was a member of the band less than two years. He began touring with Chicago in May 2016, but wasn’t officially welcomed into the group until October of that year.

Coffey joined Chicago to replace Jason Scheff, who had handled vocals and bass for more than three decades after founding member Peter Cetera left to pursue a solo career in 1985.

Coffey, 50, cited personal reasons and the band’s rigorous concert schedule for his decision.

“[T]he scale here leans more and more towards heavy touring, with NO time for anything else,” Coffey said. “It wasn’t the right balance for me.”

Imboden noted similar concerns on Wednesday when he announced he was leaving the group.

“[A]t this point in my life I no longer want to commit to 9 to 10 months out of every year being on the road,” the 66-year-old drummer said on Facebook. “This in no small way is because I have finally found and married the love of my life, Mary, and I want to share more of my life with her.”

Imboden wed Mary Montiel last year.

He joined Chicago in 1990, replacing founding member Danny Seraphine.

Chicago’s next concert is scheduled for February 7 at The Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas.

Neither the band or its management has had anything to say about Coffey or Imboden leaving, or their replacements.

Chicago was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2016. Imboden played at the induction ceremony in Brooklyn, NY, along with Seraphine.

Chicago formed in 1967, committed to the concept of a rock 'n' roll band with horns. First called The Big Thing, the group was known as Chicago Transit Authority on its debut album before taking its present name.

Three of the seven original members regularly tour with the group: Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane and James Pankow.

Chicago has sold more than 122 million recordings in nearly five decades. It had five consecutive No. 1 albums and has had more than 50 Top-40 singles.

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