Runaway June Singer Naomi Cooke Announces Solo Career
For the second time in two years, Runaway June has lost an original member. Naomi Cooke announced she is pursuing a solo career and thanked her bandmates for the memories.
Cooke, Jennifer Wayne and Hannah Mulholland formed Runaway June in 2015 and released two Top 40 singles, "Lipstick" in 2017 and "Buy My Own Drinks," one year later. Their highest profile moments came as opening act on the Carrie Underwood tour in 2019 and the Luke Bryan tour in 2021. In 2018 they were nominated for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year at the ACM Awards.
"I am incredibly excited to officially be able to announce that I am taking a new musical journey as a solo artist, and I am beyond excited to share new stories and music with you," 32-year-old Cooke shares on Instagram. "It has been 7 wonderful years as the lead singer of Runaway June, and I am so grateful for the memories and time well spent with my bandmates, Hannah, Jen and Natalie."
Runaway June's Instagram page doesn't reference a change in the band, with Wayne and newest member Natalie Stovall snapping an IG Story moment on Wednesday (Feb. 23). Cooke isn't in any photos posted to the feed in 2021, of which there are just three.
Since the start of 2020, personal and personnel news has come before music news. Mulholland left in May 2020, saying the pandemic forced her to reevaluate priorities. Cooke would marry Boys Like Girls' Martin Johnson in July 2021. Last November, Wayne announced she was pregnant, with a baby girl expected soon.
Stovall — who replaced Mulholland — has kept busy between band commitments with an announcing gig at the Grand Ole Opry. She also lent her fiddle to a new Kane Brown single called "Worship You."
It's not clear what genre of music Cooke will pursue, nor is it clear what will be next for Runaway June. The trio — with Cooke — are still listed as Wheelhouse Records artists on the Broken Bow Music Group website.