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John Mayer Leaves Columbia Records After 21 Years: ‘My Best Work Still Lies Ahead’

After more than two decades at Columbia Records, John Mayer made the surprise announcement Friday that he’s leaving the place he’s called home for most of his career. On Friday, the singer announced that he decided not to renew his contract with the record label with which he released eight studio albums, including his latest LP, Sob Rock.

“After 21 years, eight studio albums, and some wonderful personal and creative relationships, I have decided not to renew my recording agreement with Columbia Records,” he wrote in an Instagram statement. “Hard as it is to say goodbye, I’m excited to pursue new avenues of making music, both of my own and with other artists.”

Mayer signed to Columbia Records following an appearance at South by Southwest in 2001. He released all eight of his albums — including his debut Room For Squares, 2003’s multi-platinum Heavier Things, 2006’s Continuum, 2009’s Battle Studios, and 2017‘s The Search for Everything.

“I love music more than ever, and I believe some of my best work still lies ahead,” he wrote on Instagram, before signing off, “With gratitude and enthusiasm, John.”

Under Columbia, he was nominated for 19 Grammys, and earned seven, including song of the year for “Daughters” in 2005, best male pop vocal performance for “Say” in 2009, and best solo rock vocal performance for “Gravity.” Mayer is currently on his Sob Rock tour across the United States.

Last summer, Mayer said his record Sob Rock was a “shit post.” “It’s called Sob Rock because it’s a shitpost, he told Zane Lowe. “But more importantly it’s what I thought was a shitpost, and this gets down to where artists sit in front of you and play you what they think is their garbage. And you go, ‘That’s the best thing I ever heard you play.’ It makes a mockery of their interpretation of the experience. Which is just enough to break out of the mold and make something unique.”

A rep for Columbia Records did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

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