Leaving the security blanket of an established group (be it voluntarily or due to forces beyond your control) I imagine can be quite daunting. That said, some rock stars have carved out rather outstanding paths on their own.
Some names are hard to ignore, like Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel (two of the more eclectic resumes post-Zeppelin and Genesis, respectively) along with Sting and Phil Collins (arguably the most successful solo careers).
My all-time favorite's probably Pete Townshend. While I like The Who's catalog, I love his solo stuff ('Empty Glass' is one of my all-time favorite albums). Plus you can safely credit him as the pioneer of two landmark developments; the rock opera, as well as rock tuneage being Broadway-ized. Here's one of my favorite Townshend solo tunes.
I have to give an honorable mention to fellow Long Islander Mike Portnoy (more on him in a future blog). I could never have imagined him not being a part of Dream Theater. But in the last couple of years, he's done some really terrific work with Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors and, most recently, as a member of power trio The Winery Dogs (their new disc is fantastic!).
Now it's your turn: Which rock star do you think did the best job of having their musical cake and eating it?