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Jon Batiste Leaves ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ After Seven Years as Bandleader

Jon Batiste Leaves ‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert’ After Seven Years as Bandleader

Jon Batiste has bid farewell to The Late Show-- as bandleader, that is.  

The GRAMMY winner has stepped down from his musical role on the late-night show, host Stephen Colbert confirmed on Thursday's show. 

"Jon has decided to leave the show," Colbert said. "It’s for all the best reasons, including to continue sharing his art with the world."

While it was the host's intention to give him an in-person send-off, Colbert noted Batiste is not in town. "We have been so lucky to have a front-row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years," Colbert said. 
"Will we miss him here? Yeahhhh," he added, imitating the musician. 

Colbert sweetly added, "We’re happy for you, Jon, and I can’t wait to have you back on as guest with your next hit record. I love you."

Fortunately, Colbert had more than sad news to share during the show. "As happy as I am for Jon, I am thrilled for us because I have the privilege to announce that this incredible band is staying right there and that our new bandleader is the one, the only, Mr. Louis Cato."

He hailed the North Carolina native as a "musical genius" and said Cato "can basically play every instrument on that stand over there." Sounds like The Late Show is in good hands!

As for Batiste, he has not personally addressed his exit. The 35-year-old musician has celebrated a milestone year with five first-time GRAMMY wins, including for Album of the Year. In February, he secretly married his longtime love, Suleika Jaouad, who is currently battling Leukemia a second time. 

"We’ve been knowing each other for 20 years and it’s just such an incredible thing. If you find the right person, lock it in," he told ET's Rachel Smith at the 2022 Met Gala. "Life is short. You never know what’s going to happen, so you just gotta lock it in. These moments are beautiful -- the highs and lows of life. Just stay with the one you love and everything will be OK."

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