David Lee Roth, the original lead singer of Van Halen, has announced his retirement in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“I am throwing in the shoes. I’m retiring,” Roth told the newspaper in a phone call. “This is the first, and only, official announcement … You’ve got the news. Share it with the world.”
CNN has reached out to Roth’s representatives for comment.
The flamboyant front man was known as “Diamond Dave” during the band’s 1970s and ’80s heyday, when the foursome had hits like “Dance the Night Away” and “Jump.”
Roth’s announcement comes just shy of a year after Eddie Van Halen, the band’s lead guitarist and one of its namesakes, died of cancer. The singer referenced Van Halen’s death in the call with the Las Vegas newspaper, saying he had been thinking about “the departure of my beloved classmate.”
“I am encouraged and compelled to really come to grips with how short time is, and my time is probably even shorter,” he said.
The band formed after Van Halen and his brother, Alex, met Roth. The band released more than a dozen albums over four decades, through a rotating cast of lead singers: Roth was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who was replaced by Gary Cherone – the band then went back to Hagar and, eventually, back to Roth again.
Roth told the Review-Journal he remembered the early days with the band “like they were yesterday.”
Roth has five shows scheduled at House of Blues in Las Vegas beginning New Year’s Eve and running into early January – five shows he says will be his last.
“I’ve given you all I’ve got to give. It’s been an amazing, great run, no regrets, nothing to say about anybody. I’ll miss you all. Stay frosty.”
CNN’s Keith Allen contributed to this report.