Steve Howe has quit Asia.

The influential guitarist is leaving the supergroup – which also features bassist/vocalist John Wetton (King Crimson), keyboardist Geoff Downes (Yes, The Buggles) and drummer Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) – to concentrate on his other projects, including Yes.

Howe co-founded Asia in the early '80s and struck pay dirt with their 1982 self-titled debut album, which spawned the classic rock radio staple, "Heat of the Moment." With its blend of AOR hooks and progressive rock flair, Asia has sold over 10 million copies worldwide. The band has split and reunited several times throughout the years and in 2012 released XXX, their third studio album featuring the group's original lineup.

In a statement obtained by, Howe says, "Myself and the band wish to thank their fans for the enthusiasm shown during the original members' reunion. I will continue with Yes, and with my trio and solo guitar work. I wish my friends continued success."

Asia have already announced British guitarist Sam Coulson as Howe's replacement. Wetton says: "Asia is ready to take its next steps along this remarkable road. We cannot wait to perform again for the fans and also to unveil some of the new material, of which we are very proud."

Asia was forced to cancel a 30th anniversary tour after Palmer was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in December.

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