John Taylor Leaves Duran Duran

Jan. 21 [16:00 EST] -- On Sunday, Duran Duran bassist and founding member John Taylor announced to a crowd of devotees attending a Duran convention in Los Angeles that he was leaving the band after 19 years.

Taylor was in the middle of an acoustic performance when he broke the news to the audience, who were shocked by the news.

"A lot of people were really upset," Taylor's publicist, Anne Leighton, told MTV News.

According to Leighton, Taylor wants to devote more time to his own projects, noting that his "whole life has taken on a new focus." Among Taylor's projects are his own record label, B-5, which distributes via the Internet, and his increased interest in solo and side projects, which he dabbled in throughout his tenure in Duran Duran. Taylor has one solo album ready to hit the streets on March 18, and hopes to pursue his own sound further.

Leighton noted that there is no animosity between Taylor and the remaining members of the Duran camp, who are

currently working on their own album.

Taylor and schoolmate Nick Rhodes founded the band in Birmingham, England in 1978.