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Journey Whacks Singer; ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ Climbing iTunes Charts

journey_061207.jpgBelievin’

Thanks to its Sopranos-ending, scene-stealing inclusion, Journey is back in the spotlight for the first time since, well, 1981′s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was released. Everyone from MTV News to the Associated Press came calling for quotes after Sunday’s finale, and the aformentioned song is climbing the iTunes charts (currently No. 30 on the iTunes’ “Top Songs” list, right between Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony and T.I.) and #55 on Amazon.

The power ballad purveyors seem to be thoroughly enjoying the attention. All of which makes the timing of this announcement curious:

JOURNEY ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE OF JEFF SCOTT SOTO

June 12, 2007 — Journey has parted ways with their recently named lead singer Jeff Scott Soto. Jeff’s first appearance with Journey was July 7, 2006 in Bristow, VA. He had been filling in for Steve Augeri, who had to leave the tour shortly after it began on June 23 due to illness. Jeff’s last performance was May 12, 2007 in Leesburg, VA.

According to guitarist Neal Schon, “We appreciate all of Jeff’s hard work and we can’t thank him enough for stepping in when Steve Augeri got sick last year. He did a tremendous job for us and we wish him the best. We’ve just decided to go our separate ways, no pun intended. We’re plotting our next move now.”

Keyboardist Jonathan Cain continues, “We were lucky to have a friend who was already a Journey fan step in on a moment’s notice during the Def Leppard tour to help us out. Jeff was always the consummate professional and we hope that he remains a friend of the band in the future. We just felt it was time to go in a different direction.”

Journey — Neal Schon (guitar), Ross Valory (bass), Jonathan Cain (keyboards) and Deen Castronovo (drums)–is taking the rest of 2007 off to spend time with their families, write new songs and map out plans for 2008.

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