Daft Punk, the French musical duo consisting of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have split up. The announcement was confirmed by the band’s publicist Kathryn Frazier, but no official reason was given.
Frazier’s announcement of the split came after the band posted a video on their YouTube channel. The video includes features a scene from their 2006 film Electroma that shows two robots, in which one explodes and one walks away.
Homen-Christo and Bangalter were originally a part of a band called Darlin. After Darlin broke up, the duo started working together – experimenting with synthesizers, drum machines, and their signature talk box. They started releasing singles in 1993, and by 1997, the duo signed with Virgin Records and released their debut album Homework.
It was in 1999 when the duo assumed their robot personas. The robot persona created an aura of mystery with the duo. The two were not known to grant interviews or speak out in public. Given the reserved nature of the duo, the mysterious announcement to the band breaking up was no surprise.
Daft Punk always had a cult following, but in 2013 the band released the hit Get Lucky with Pharrell Williams that catapulted them to international superstardom. The song was part of the album Random Access Memories. While it was only their fourth album, it was the first the band had made with Columbia Records after departing Virgin. In 2014, Daft Punk would capture the Grammys for Record of the Year (Get Lucky) and Album of the Year (Random Access Memories).
2016 would see Daft Punk continue the momentum with single Starboy, a collaboration with The Weeknd. This single would capture the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 – a first for Daft Punk.
Following the announcement of the breakup, Rolling Stone magazine reported a surge of digital album sales of 2,650%