Coldplay split as Chris goes solo

LONDON – COLDPLAY superstar Chris Martin is preparing to ditch his band and launch a solo career, we can reveal. The frontman whose mother was born in Zimbabwe has a frantic schedule lined up for next year so he can bow out of Coldplay before his 33rd birthday in March, 2010.\r\n

A final album is already in the pipeline for December 2009 along with a string of farewell performances.

Last night Chris said: “I’m 31 now—and I don’t think that bands should keep going past 33, so we’re trying to pack in as much as possible. We’ll go for it until the end of next year.” Chris, who is married to actress GWYNETH PALTROW, will then concentrate on a solo career.

A music insider told me: “Chris isn’t the sort of guy who wants the comfort of being in a band. He’s very proud of what Coldplay have done, but he wants to go out when they’re on top.

“He’s become bigger than the band so he knows he’s going to have a huge career on his own. A solo career is something he’s always wanted to do.”

The Grammy and Brit Award-winning group have sold 40 million albums and produced anthems such as Yellow, Clocks and The Scientist.

X&Y was the best-selling album of 2005, shifting 8.3 million copies worldwide.

Their latest record, Viva La Vida, has already notched up two million sales and in June became the most downloaded album ever.

Chris formed the band, originally called Starfish, 12 years ago while at uni in London with JONNY BUCKLAND. They settled on the name Coldplay after GUY BERRYMAN and drummer WILL CHAMPION joined.