Joel Pimentel to Leave CNCO: 'We Are and Will Always Be Brothers,' Band Says

The Latino boy band will continue as a foursome during the "new era of CNCO"

Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Joel Pimentel is leaving CNCO.

In a statement shared to the Latino group's social media on Sunday, CNCO announced that Pimentel, 22, will be departing the group following a livestream performance scheduled for May 14. The remaining four members — Richard Camacho, Zabdiel De Jesús, Erick Colón and Christopher Veléz — will continue as CNCO.

"CNCOwners! We want to start by saying how much we truly love you and appreciate all of the support you give us day in and day out, year after year," their statement read. "For that reason, we're sad to tell you that after five and a half unforgettable and life-changing years together, Friday, May 14th will be Joel's last day as a member of CNCO."

The group added, "We want you all to know that while Joel is leaving and will be pursuing new opportunities, we are and will always be brothers. We support him in his next chapter, and will always, most importantly, remain a family."

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The boy band continued by sharing that they will start a "new era of CNCO" as a quartet.

"We know this news is saddening and is going to be as hard for all of you as it is for us, but we appreciate you sticking with us," they wrote, before adding, "You guys are what keep us going and have us so excited to continue together stronger than ever. For that reason, we wanted to give you a final gift all together. On Friday, we will perform, the five of us, one last time for our global livestream concert event."

Pimentel shared a statement of his own, where he thanked the band's "loyal fans" and teased a new project.

"It's time for me to grow and explore new artistic avenues, it's time to start building my own path and career," he wrote. "This is why I've decided to leave the band."

"I truly wish you the best as you continue on with the CNCO legacy," he added, writing to his bandmates. "We've lived through so much together that we're family now."

CNCO was formed in 2015 on Univision's La Banda, a show created by Simon Cowell and judged by the likes of Alejandro Sanz and Ricky Martin. Their name is a play on the Spanish word for "five" for the number of original members.

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The group released four albums as five members, with their most recent being Déjà Vu earlier this year. Some of their hit songs include "Reggaetón Lento (Bailemos)," "Hey DJ" and "Llegaste Tú."

In 2019, CNCO opened up to PEOPLE about their bond and what's kept them strong.

"We always try to maintain respect among us regarding personal space because imagine, being together 24 hours all day every day isn't easy," Colon said at the time. "We try to respect each other's space and always respect each other as artists and as human beings."

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