By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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The Sequim-bred band that rose to pop music fame after appearing on the Fox TV reality singing show “X Factor” announced to its fans last week that Drew Chadwick, 21, had decided to leave the group to pursue a solo career, leaving brothers Wesley, 20, and Keaton Stromberg, 18, to carry the Emblem3 flag as a duo.
“We're sad to see Drew go but he will always be our brother, and we couldn't be happier for him as he starts his new journey as a solo artist,” Wesley Stromberg wrote Friday.
The trio grew up in Sequim before moving to Huntington Beach, Calif., to make it big in the record industry.
“Once people hear my music and philosophy they will understand everything. This is no goodbye, this is hello,” Chadwick said on twitter, where he also advised fans to stay tuned for an announcement this Friday.
Efforts to reach the band were unsuccessful Monday.
Chadwick's departure came just before the group started its Fireside Story Sessions tour, which the Stromberg brothers kicked off Monday in Hellertown, Pa.
“This DOES NOT mean Emblem3 will no longer be,” the Strombergs reassured fans on the Emblem3 Twitter feed.
Larraine Claire, mother of the Stromberg brothers, said the two plan to play out the six-week, 35-city tour, which comes closest to the North Olympic Peninsula when it is scheduled to stop in Portland, Ore., on Aug. 7 and Vancouver, B.C., Aug. 8.
Claire said she was sad to see the trio part ways but excited for their future projects.
“I will buy his CD,” Claire said of Chadwick.
She noted Emblem3 has gone through a number of transitions, and the band name was not necessarily symbolic of the band having three members.
“There was a point back in the Sequim days when Drew wasn't even involved,” she said, noting the group has included as many as five featured players.
Claire said the current Fireside tour includes a number of new tracks written by Wesley and Keaton, including their single “Love Will Be There,” which they released Saturday.
“I know that particular song was written probably a week ago,” Claire said.
Emblem3 hit the national stage after landing a spot on the Fox TV reality singing show “X Factor.”
Though they were voted out of the competition in the semifinals, the trio in January 2013 inked a record deal with media mogul and “X Factor” producer Simon Cowell's Syco Music, an offshoot of Sony.
Their first single, “Chloe (You're the One I Want)” was released in April 2013 and was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of fans.
Their first album, “Nothing to Lose,” debuted in July 2013 and hit No. 7 on Billboard's Top 200 chart.
Last summer, Emblem3 toured as the opening act for young A-lister Selena Gomez.
The Stromberg brothers are also maintaining their local ties, Claire noted, by sponsoring training sessions for Sequim-area students to the Tribal Edge Training Center, continuing a tradition started last year.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.