IN a statement announcing the split tonight Kian, Mark, Nicky and Shane said: “After 14 years, 26 top ten hits including 14 number one singles, 11 top five albums, seven of which hit the top spot and have collectively sold over 44million copies around the world, ten sell out tours and countless memories that we will forever cherish, we today announce our plan to go our separate ways after a greatest hits collection this Christmas and a farewell tour next year.
“The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures.
“We see the greatest hits collection and the farewell tour as the perfect way to celebrate our incredible career along with our fans. We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing our fans one last time.
“Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us 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.
“We never imagined when we started out in 1998 that 14 years later we would still be recording, touring and having hits together. It has been a dream come true for all of us.”
Kian, Mark, Nicky and Shane