2018 GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and member of The Meters Art Neville has announced his official retirement from music, according to Billboard.
“Poppa Funk” celebrated his 81st birthday on December 17 and celebrated by stepping down from his recording and performing career to focus on other things.
A release didn’t offer much detail as to what could have driven Mr. Neville to make his decision, but in it he did thank “the fans for all the wonderful years of support and for letting us share our music with the world.”
As fans know, Art’s health has suffered in the past. A back injury and reported stroke prevented him from making as many appearances on stage as his brothers and bandmates. In 2017, The Meters cancelled upcoming shows due to Art’s illness, saying he was “under medical evaluation.”
In 2014, OffBeat published “Cha Dooky Do: A Tribute To The Music Of Art Neville.” In it, drummer Aron Lambert said ” “Art’s voice is the voice of God. A lot of people say if they heard the voice of God it would sound like Morgan Freeman, but if you were to ask many of us here in New Orleans what the voice of God would sound like, we’d say, ‘Listen to Art’s voice 20 years ago.’”
The OffBeat family salutes Art Neville for the 60-plus years of music he’s shared with us.