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Daft Punk breaks up after 28 years of making music together

French electronic musicians Daft Punk announced their split on Feb. 22, 2021, in the form of a YouTube video titled “Epilogue.” Daft Punk, composed of members Thomas Baltanger and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, leave behind a formidable influence on electronic music and a slew of chart-topping hits inspiring people to dance around the world. 

The duo formed in Paris in 1993, and released their debut album, “Homework”, in 1997 to critical acclaim. The project blended techno, house and acid music styles, and helped to shape a distinctly French vein of techno music. They would go on to release three more studio albums, a number of remix albums and recordings of live performances. 

Daft Punk are well known for their media appearances, in which they are always wearing masks. At the beginning of their career, they wore trash bags or paper bags on their heads, finally adopting their famous robot helmets in 2001

The music of Daft Punk is both highly acclaimed and well known globally. Daft Punk’s 2013 song “Get Lucky” was the second highest-selling song on the Hot 100 after being on the chart for 29 weeks straight. For months, the song was basically inescapable, and it’s hard to imagine a memory of the summer of 2013 without recalling “Get Lucky” playing on the radio. 

Daft Punk has also achieved extreme success as musical collaborators, well known for working with artists like The Weeknd, Pharrell and Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. They have also been sampled extensively in songs since their career began, creating a number of iconic tracks like “Touch It” by Busta Rhymes, “So Much Betta” by Janet Jackson and “Stronger” by Kanye West. 

West heard the song “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” in the early 2000s when it was played by his personal touring DJ A-Trak. He immediately wanted to sample the song, which was encouraged by Daft Punk. The song became “Stronger,” a number one hit on the Billboard Charts in 2007, and the introduction to Daft Punk’s music for many. 

Daft Punk captured the hearts of millions with their music and is known by the music world as some of the most influential dance artists of all time. There were 27 tweets per minute about Daft Punk following the announcement of their breakup, according to a tweet from French media service Visibrain. 

Many musicians took to social media to express their sadness at the news and celebrate the impact of Daft Punk in their lives. Music producer Mark Ronson wrote: “Daft Punk left the game with a flawless legacy. I would say enviable but impossibly unattainable is more appropriate”. 

“Eternally grateful,” wrote French artist Christine and The Queens on Twitter, posting a photo of the duo. 

While many were disappointed to hear of Daft Punk’s breakup, their music and influence remain intact. 

allison.harris@mail.umkc.edu

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