Ricky Phillips, Styx’s bassist for over 20 years, has announced that he’s leaving the group.

Phillips' resume is long and impressive. Prior to joining Tommy Shaw and company in 2003, the rocker enjoyed stops with the Babys, Bad English, Coverdale-Page and Ted Nugent. In a message to fans, the bassist announced he'll be stepping away from the stage.

“My last 20+ years of touring and recording with my friends in Styx has come to an end,” Phillips declared. “I am taking a break from the road. I'm not retiring, just taking a break.”

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Though the bassist plans to slow down and relax, he’s not leaving music all together.

“Presently, I have accepted an offer to co-produce a project in a studio close to home,” he explained. “I've known since I was a kid that live performance is in my blood so, in time I will post any future engagements or commitments. But for right now, Melissa and I will share coffee talk and meals from home...with our critters close by.”

“Of course, I will always cherish the adventurous days recording and touring with Styx,” Phillips continued. "And, I will truly miss the wonderfully-crazy and faithful Styx fans...whose smiling faces I often saw more than my own family.”

Styx Responds to Ricky Phillips' Departure

Styx expressed support for Phillips' decision, and issued a statement wishing their former bandmate well.

"It was a joy to spend two decades with Ricky Phillips in Styx and we wish him all the best in his next adventure," the band said via social media. "He’ll always be a part of the Styx family and we’ll miss his presence on our stage and in our touring lives."

Styx's next concert is scheduled for March 22 in Wallingford, Connecticut. A replacement for Phillips has not yet been announced. Styx co-founder and original bassist Chuck Panozzo is still part of the band, but his role has been limited to part-time appearances due to his ongoing battle with HIV.

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