Westlife announce that they are to split

Posted Oct 19, 2011 by Jane Fazackarley
After 14 years together, Irish boy band Westlife have announced that they are to break up. In a statement published on their website the band say that the decision was "entirely amicable".
Westlife in Concert. From left-to-right: Feehily  Egan  Byrne  Filan
Westlife in Concert. From left-to-right: Feehily, Egan, Byrne, Filan
The group have a farewell tour planned and a greatest hits collection is to be released in time for Christmas.
In a statement, the band say:
"Over the years Westlife has become more than just a band. Westlife are a family. We would like to thank our fans who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too."
The band also state that they will be taking a "well-earned break" and that they will be looking at new ventures.
Westlife had their first hit with "Swear it again" in 1998 and originally started out as a five piece. One of the group members, Brian McFadden, left in 2004 to pursue a solo career and had a few minor hits but never had the success that he had experienced with Westlife. The group were signed by Simon Cowell and were managed by Louis Walsh, they went on to became one of the biggest selling bands in the UK selling 44 million records worldwide and achieving 14 number one singles.
Fans have already taken to social networks to comment on the decision to break-up; some fans describe themselves as feeling "devastated". People can leave their messages on Twitter by using #WestlifeForever