Daft Punk, the French electronic music duo who wore elaborate headsets, despised celebrity and assumed robot characters, has parted ways. The group announced the news in a YouTube video titled Epilogue posted on Monday.
The video, which has been viewed more than 6 million times in eight hours, uses scenes from the group’s 2006 science fiction film Electroma. It shows the duo walking into the desert, where one of them explodes and the other drives away, with “1993-2021” popping up on the screen. A publicist for the duo confirmed the breakup to The New York Times.
French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are the humans behind the helmets. The duo, who composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Tron: Legacy, won six Grammy Awards and influenced numerous musicians with their music and mythology. Their 2013 single Get Lucky, voiced by Pharrell Williams, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They reached number 1 as part ofThe 2016 single, Starboy, in which they acted, co-wrote and co-produced.
His recognizable appearance has been parodied on shows like Family Guy, as well as video games like World of Warcraft. The band’s place in pop culture history, and those helmets, sparked a lot of reactions on social media.
“I really wish Daft Punk hadn’t told us they were breaking up,” writer Caissie St. Onge tweeted. “Just give the helmet to a new kid and let us think everything is okay. I also wish my parents had worn helmets and done this. Maybe this is more of a conversation to have with a therapist.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Daft Punk is simply breaking up because in France you can retire at 50.”
And many noted the group’s place in musical history. “Electronic music would have been very different without Daft Punk,” wrote one fan. “I will definitely miss you guys, but thank you guys for everything.”