Daft Punk, the widely celebrated and influential electronic duo, have broken up.
The group announced the decision via an eight-minute sequence, dubbed “Epilogue,” taken from their 2006 film, Electroma, in which two robots — meant to represent band members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter — venture into a desert where one gets blown up. An image of two robot hands forming a triangle then flashes on-screen with the time-stamp: 1993-2021.
Kathryn Frazier, Daft Punk’s longtime representative, confirmed the breakup to Rolling Stone but declined to provide any details on the split.
Over the course of their nearly three-decade run, Daft Punk went from boundary-pushing favorites to one of the most acclaimed acts in pop music. De Homem-Christo and Bangalter formed the group in 1993, pushed to the forefront of French house music, and released their acclaimed debut album, Homework, in 1997, which featured hit singles like “Da Funk” and “Around the World.”
Daft Punk’s 2001 follow-up, Discovery, boasted a smattering of classics, including “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” “One More Time,” and “Face to Face.” It was around this time as well — with Daft Punk’s profile skyrocketing — that de Homem-Christo and Bangalter took to wearing the robot costumes that would become Daft Punk’s signature look.
Daft Punk’s third album, Human After All, arrived in 2005, and the following year, the band embarked on their ambitious and groundbreaking Alive tour. The concert is arguably best remembered for its pyramid light show, which they debuted with a headlining set at Coachella in April 2006. A live album, Alive 2007, capturing the band’s 2007 show at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy arena in Paris, was released later that year.
It would be eight years until Daft Punk released their next proper studio album, although in 2010 they provided the score for Tron: Legacy. In April 2013, Daft Punk released arguably the biggest song of their career, “Get Lucky,” a striking bit of disco pastiche featuring Pharrell Williams and Chic’s Nile Rodgers. The song would anchor Daft Punk’s fourth, and ultimately final, album, Random Access Memories — a sprawling homage to dance music of all kinds that would go on to win several Grammys, including Album of the Year.
Daft Punk left an indelible mark on the global pop landscape, but especially in America: Their run during the first decade of the 2000s — bolstered by Kanye West’s sampling of “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” on his 2007 hit “Stronger” — helped lay the foundation for the EDM boom that would shake up pop in the U.S. at the start of the 2010s. Daft Punk’s music would be sampled by artists like Janet Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, and Busta Rhymes, while in 2016, the group linked up with the Weeknd for a pair of hits on his album Starboy.