“‘I am going to bring this chapter of my life to an end and put my focus and energy on my family, and with that Panic! At The Disco will be no more.’”
Talk about the death of a bachelor. That was Panic! At The Disco founder and sole original member Brendon Urie announcing Tuesday that he’s putting the band on pause while he and his wife await the birth of their first child.
“Sometimes a journey must end for a new one to begin,” Urie, 35, explained in a post on the band’s Instagram page. “We’ve been trying to keep it to ourselves, though some of you may have heard.. Sarah and I are expecting a baby very soon!”
Panic! At the Diaper?
He continued by explaining that one reason for changing his tune is because, “the prospect of being a father and getting to watch my wife become a mother is both humbling and exciting. I look forward to this next adventure.”
The news caused Urie’s name and “Panic” to trend on Twitter as fans digested the news. What’s more, searches for the remaining members of Panic! At The Disco, and “Why did Panic! At The Disco break up?” began spiking among Google queries. “Panic! At the Disco” also drew more than 200,000 Google searches in the 24 hours after the Tuesday announcement, per Google Trends data.
While the band formed as an emo/pop rock foursome in Las Vegas in 2004, it has gradually become a solo project for Urie. His solo albums include 2016’s “Death of a Bachelor,” which became the first Panic! album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. So plenty of the reactions on Twitter on Tuesday involved people joking about Urie “breaking up the band” by sharing pictures or videos of people sitting alone and talking to themselves.
But all kidding aside, some folks also found the news that Urie is opting to spend more time with his family refreshing, similar to reactions that Paul Ryan got in 2018 when he decided to retire from Congress to be more than just a “weekend dad.” And indeed, 63% of fathers say they spend too little time with their children, according to Pew Research, and 62% blame work obligations for missing this family time.
Some other high profile men who have stepped away from work to be with family include Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who announced he was stepping down from his full-time position at the company in 2018 in part because he wanted to spend more time doing things important for his baby daughter with tennis champ Serena Williams. Visa CEO Charlie Scharf stepped down in 2016 to “spend more time with his family” — he’s now the CEO of Wells Fargo — and then-President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Bill Daley resigned in early 2012, also citing a need to be with family, even as the president was facing tough reelection odds.
Yet plenty of dads face still stigma for asking to spend more time with their kids. Take Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, who faced tons of criticism over his fall 2021 decision to take paternity leave while the country was facing major supply-chain issues.
Yet research shows that families benefit from fathers taking paternity leave. McKinsey & Co. interviewed 130 new fathers across 10 countries and found that paternity leave helped families by strengthening partnerships, supporting women — who overwhelmingly bear the responsibility for child care — establishing the sharing of responsibilities from the get-go, and creating a lifelong paternal bond with the child.
“The men told us resoundingly that their experience was a positive one, despite some having concerns about what it might mean for their careers,” the report found. “While our research focused on heterosexual fathers taking paternity leave, we recognize that there are many other kinds of families (for example, families with two mothers or two fathers, and adoptive families) that face similar challenges and thus can benefit from parental leave.”
And plenty of Urie’s fans are on board with his next gig as a proud and present papa. “So sad to see Panic! At The Disco quit but it is for a great cause!” tweeted one fan. “Brendon Urie will be such a great dad!!!”
“He’s going to be such a good, hands-on dad,” tweeted another fan, who added, “I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of Mr. Urie.”
Fans can still catch Urie’s swan song as the band tours in Europe from Feb. 20 through March 10. “Thank you all for your immense support over the years,” Urie wrote in his farewell Instagram post. “I’ve sat here trying to come up with the perfect way to say this and I truly can’t put into words how much it has meant to us.”