Hannah Mulholland announced last week that she would be exiting country trio Runaway June after five years with the band, and the following day it was reported that Natalie Stovall would be joining the group in her place. During an appearance on Taste of Country Nights this week, original members Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne opened up about Mulholland's departure, explaining that the coronavirus pandemic ultimately pushed Mulholland to leave the band.
"The pandemic happened, and the world started changing," Cooke said. "As a lot of people have done, Hannah started to reevaluate what was important to her. And that was being with her family and her husband in California." She also confirmed that Mulholland's exit was drama-free. "Jen and I have nothing but love for Hannah," she said. "We support that, and we want her to be happy. So there's no drama here." Mulholland married husband Ian Jay in October 2019, and Wayne told ABC Audio that the decision had been on Mulholland's mind for some time.
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"She's been feeling this way for a while," Wayne said. "She got married. She really missed California and being around her family." She added that she thinks Mulholland may have stayed in the group longer than she wanted out of fear of disappointing her bandmates. "It's a tough life out there, and this job takes you away from people that you love," Wayne mused. "Naomi had said earlier, 'When you're in this job, you just truck forward without even really having the time to really think about it.' And she didn't want to let us down." She also echoed Cooke's statement that the pandemic spurred Mulholland to leave. "I think that [during] this whole pandemic, we've all taken a pause and we're reevaluating what really matters to us and what's important to us in our life," Wayne said. "And she really wants to be home with her family, and Naomi and I support that and we love her."
"She's an amazing artist, she's super talented," she added. "She does pencil sketching and oil painting. And I'm sure her next chapter is gonna be exciting to watch." In a statement revealing her departure, Mulholland wrote that she was announcing her decision "with great respect and love."
"We have spent 5 years chasing dreams, climbing mountains, conquering things we never imagined possible, and having lots of fun along the way," she wrote. "I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had, and all of the amazing people I have met along the way. I wish everyone continued success and happiness. I hope you will continue to follow my creative endeavors and share in what the future has to hold."