Which 90s Bandleader Is Rumored To Be Replacing Kevin Eubanks?
It is with a heavy heart that Moveline reports that Jay Leno's trusty sidekick, Kevin "Kev" Eubanks, is fleeing his cushy gig as Leno's bandleader after 18 years. The announcement, which was confirmed by Extra today, comes just a week after the last Jay Leno Show aired on NBC. Leno will return to the 11:35 PM time slot after the Winter Games coverage with a new Tonight Show bandleader -- one that is rumored to have fronted one of your favorite 90s groups. Click through to find out who Jay Leno will be tossing monologue quips out to beginning March 1.
The jazz guitarist confirmed the move on his Twitter page, where he changed his bio from "Leader of the Tonight Show Band" to "former leader of the Tonight Show Band" and offered thanks to his well wishers. Despite those Twitter sentiments, NBC released a statement to USA Today declaring that "Kevin has expressed interest in pursuing personal touring and recording opportunities. However, he will return to the show" on March 1, when Leno resurfaces in late night, and whether and when he exits for good has yet to be determined.
As for the bandleader rumored to be taking Kev's place -- let's offer a warm, round of applause to Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish fame. Before making his country music debut in 2008, the rhythm guitarist also recorded a solo R&B album in 2001 and portrayed a singing cowboy in Burger King commercials in 2005.
Before wrapping our minds around a Jay Leno/Hootie partnership, let's take a moment to remember the long partnership between Eubanks and the Tonight Show host with this Cheaters video, which starred the two.
· Kevin Eubanks Leaves The Tonight Show! [Extra]