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Emblem3 dropped by Sony Music; Drew Chadwick quits E3 and reveals his solo plans

Emblem3 at the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Pictured from left to right: Keaton Stromberg, Wesley Stromberg and Drew Chadwick.
Emblem3 at the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Pictured from left to right: Keaton Stromberg, Wesley Stromberg and Drew Chadwick.
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Emblem3 is going through some big changes. First, sources say that Emblem3 was dropped by Sony Music, although an official announcement has not been made. Then on June 20, 2014, Emblem3 announced that Drew Chadwick quit the ska-influenced pop/rock group to pursue a solo career. The remaining two members of Emblem3 (brothers Wesley Stromberg and Keaton Stromberg) are continuing Emblem3 as a duo and embarked on a previously announced North American tour that is scheduled to run from June 2014 to August 2014. Chadwick's exit from Emblem3 was announced three days before the tour began.

Meanwhile, in a Hollywood Life interview published on June 30, 2014, Chadwick said this about his solo music: “It’s a breakdown. It’s folk, hip-hop, R&B, pop, subtle electronic … It also has a reggae influence. We don’t play by the rules. Constant innovation, constant thinking outside of the box.” There is no word yet on when Chadwick will release any of his solo music.

Emblem3 came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012. Simon Cowell was Emblem3's mentor on the show, and he signed the group to his Syco Music label, which he co-owns with Sony Music. In addition, Emblem3 was the first act signed to Mr. Kanani, a record label owned by songwriter/producer Savan Kotecha, a co-writer/producer of several of One Direction's early hits. Columbia Records (which is also a Sony Music label) handled marketing and promotion for Emblem3 when the group was signed to Sony Music.

Emblem3's album "Nothing to Lose" was released by Mr. Kanani/Syco/Columbia Records in July 2013. Although the album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, "Nothing to Lose" had little staying power on the chart and sold poorly. The album's first single, "Chloe (You're the One I Want)," peaked at a lowly No. 93 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album's second single, "3000 Miles," failed to make it on the chart.

Emblem3 did much better on the concert circuit by having numerous sold-out shows at small theaters and large clubs. In addition, Emblem3 was the opening act of Selena Gomez's 2013 North American tour. Another highlight of Emblem3's career so far was winning Choice Music Breakout Group at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards.

Emblem3 is one of several acts from "The X Factor" U.S. to be a sales flop for Sony Music, the record-company partner of "The X Factor." None of the acts from the American "X Factor" has had an EP or album go gold or platinum in the U.S., and most have not had any singles make it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The third and final season of "The X Factor" U.S. ended in December 2013. Fox officially cancelled the show in February 2014.

Wesley Stromberg issued this statement about Chadwick leaving Emblem3: "We have an important announcement to make. While we regret sharing this news, we as a group need to share that Drew has decided to move forward in pursuit of his solo career and will no longer be with Emblem3 or joining us on [the upcoming tour] The Fireside Story Sessions. We're sad to see Drew go but he will always be our brother, and we couldn't be happier for him as he starts his new journey as a solo artist.

"We know many of you may be concerned about what this means for Emblem3, but I can assure you this is just the beginning! Me and Keaton started this band when we were 9 and 11 years old and we will continue making music for our fans. We love you with all our heart. E3 has always been about a partnership of likeminded musicians and we’re committed to continuing this journey alongside you all. And who knows, you may also start seeing some very familiar faces popping up."

Emblem3 also tweeted: "@DrewChadwickE3 will always be our brother, and we will always support him… This DOES NOT mean Emblem3 will no longer be. The #Strombros started this band when we were 9 and 11 and we aren't going anywhere… #E3forever."

Fans of Emblem3 have been debating on the Internet about whether or not Chadwick should be replaced or if the group should change its name. It is highly unlikely that Emblem3 will change its name. Emblem3 fans also seem to be divided over supporting Chadwick and not supporting him in his decision to leave Emblem3.

Chadwick told Hollywood Life why he wanted to go solo: "I got to make a mark now. I got to let people know what I’m all about."

But a Hollywood Life online poll indicates that Chadwick is going to flop as a solo artist. The poll asked, "Are you excited for Drew's solo career?" A whopping 66 percent of respondents said, "No," while 34 percent said "Yes."

This disinterest in Chadwick's solo career isn't too surprising since Chadwick was often criticized on "The X Factor" for being the weakest singer in Emblem3 and for giving the impression that he was more interested in being a pretty boy who likes to show off his muscles than improving his music skills.

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