Singer Anette Olzon has split with Nightwish in a spirit of mutual understanding", the band says.
The move follows an online rant where she criticised the Finnish band for performing a show without her at the weekend. She missed the Nightwish show in Denver, Colorado and was temporarily replaced by support band Kamelot's backing singers Elize Ryd and Alissa White-Gluz.
Olzon told fans she'd been admitted to hospital with suspected stress complications, during which doctors discovered a cyst in her liver which would require further treatment. She returned to action the following night in Salt Lake City, Utah, and afterwards said: "Sorry for not being in top form, but i did my best at least".
Later she blogged her displeasure over the previous show having gone on without her, saying: "I was never asked if it was okay they used Elize and Alissa. I don't think it's a good decision they made. I'm sorry for those of you who came to see the whole band but got something else. The decision wasn't mine.
"To think the show is more important than the humans in the band is, for me, totally not in this world. This is just music. Rihanna wouldn't ask Britney Spears to sing for her if she was ill".
Now Nightwish have confirmed the split with Olzon, who joined in 2007 after the popular Tarja Turunen was fired. The band say: "Another chapter of the story has ended today. Nightwish and Anette have decided to part company in mutual understanding, for the good of all parties involved.
"In recent times it has become increasingly obvious that the direction and the needs of the band were in conflict, and this has led to a division from which we cannot recover."
The band have vowed not to miss a show on their Imaginaerum world tour, and have brought in Netherlands singer Floor Jansen, of After Forever and Revamp Fame, to complete the schedule.
Nightwish add: "We forever remain excited about the adventures to come, and we are extremely proud of the two beautiful albums and the wonderful shows we shared together [with Olzon]".
The band's Imaginaerum movie, which receives its world premiere on November 10, was recently completed. Based on the Nightwish album of the same name, Olzon said last week: "I have seen the movie for the very first time, and I can just say that I really liked it! I cried in the end - yeah, sensitive as I am. It was just amazing to see it all finally finished".
When Olzon joined Nightwish in '07, a few eyebrows were raised due to her background as the vocalist in Swedish AOR band Alyson Avenue.
Thanks to ClassicRockMagazine for the report.