Darkness Lead Singer Hawkins Quits Band

Singer Justin Hawkins has left British band the Darkness to continue his drug rehabilitation. Hawkins revealed his intentions today (Oct. 11) in an interview with the Sun newspaper. "It will be an uph

Singer Justin Hawkins has left British band the Darkness to continue his drug rehabilitation. Hawkins revealed his intentions today (Oct. 11) in an interview with the Sun newspaper. "It will be an upheaval," he said. "But it's time for me to move on. It would be damaging to my recovery to stay on. I'm not blaming the band for my problem -- I am an addict."

The group burst onto the worldwide stage with its 2004 debut, "Permission To Land," which has sold 698,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But last year's "One Way Ticket to Hell ... And Back" fizzled here, reaching only No. 58 on The Billboard 200. It has shifted 91,000 copies to date.

In August, Hawkins entered rehab; at the time, the band insisted it would hit the studio as soon as he felt up to it and that rumors it had been dropped by Atlantic Records were false.

"We're sorry that you had to find this out through the newspapers, but we were hoping until the last minute that this -- Justin's exit -- wasn't going to happen," the remaining band members wrote on the Darkness message board today. "We -- Dan, Ed and Richie -- are still in total shock and can't say at this stage what the future holds. You will hear from us, once we know what we want to do."

As for Hawkins, he told the Sun he plans to stay busy with a solo album and writing film music.