The lead singer of popular Canadian band the Barenaked Ladies, who was charged with drugs offenses in the United States last year, is leaving to pursue a solo career, the group said on Wednesday.

Steven Page, 38, was arrested in July 2008 and charged with drug possession after police found the singer with cocaine at an upstate New York apartment. In October, the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor.

"By mutual agreement, Steven Page will be parting company with the remaining members of Barenaked Ladies," the band said on its Web site, saying Page would be pursuing solo projects.

The five-man group was best known for hit songs such as "One Week", "Pinch Me" and "If I Had a Million Dollars" and received two Grammy nominations. The remaining members of the band plan to stay together.

"These guys are my brothers. We've grown up together over the past twenty years. I love them and wish them all the best in the future," the statement quoted Page as saying. It did not mention the drug bust.

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