The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is a very funny, thought-provoking late night talk show. However, even Stephen will tell you the best part of the show is Jon Batiste and Stay Human. From the moment it premiered, it was obvious the “I Need You” singer wouldn’t be Colbert’s bandleader for long, because his talent as an entertainer is so undeniable.
Once he won an Oscar for Best Original Score for Soul, that was it. Then, Batiste won 5 Grammys, including Album of the Year, and the clock was definitely ticking on his Late Show tenure. Now, the time has come for Batiste to take advantage of his well earned spotlight and exit The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
The Emmy-winning host announced the departure on Thursday’s episode, saying, “Jon has decided to leave the show. But it’s for all the best reasons, including to continue sharing his art with the world.”
Colbert said the “Freedom” singer was out of town, so they couldn’t give him a big in person goodbye. He joked that he hoped Batiste was recording his new album, which should be titled “More Grammys, Please.”
“We have been so lucky to have a front row seat to Jon’s incredible talent for the past seven years,” Colbert continued. “But we’re happy for you, Jon, and I can’t wait to have you back on as a guest with your next hit record. I love you.”
He went on to announce longtime band member Louis Cato as the leader of the newly renamed The Late Show Band. The Grammy-nominee has been sitting in for Batiste this summer.
“Louis has done a great job this summer, and he is very humble, so he won’t say this. But I will. He’s a musical genius,” Colbert said. “He can play basically every instrument over there. Give him an afternoon, he’ll learn how to play Mozart on a shoehorn.”
Cato, who has previously worked with Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Bobby McFerrin and A Tribe Called Quest, is set to officially take over when The Late Show has its Season 8 premiere on Sept. 6.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life to work on this show, alongside some of the most talented musicians and creatives I know,” Cato said in a statement. “Watching and learning from both Jon and Stephen for these past seven years, I’m genuinely excited to continue the tradition of excellence they’ve established.”
Jon Batiste is currently on tour and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights on CBS at 11:35 p.m.