Boyzone have announced that they are splitting up, 25 years after forming as a band.
Put together by music producer and former X Factor judge Louis Walsh in 1993, the Irish boyband had six UK number one hits – including Words, No Matter What and All That I Need.
A statement on their website from current members Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Michael “Mikey” Graham thanked fans for their support and said they would be saying goodbye with a final album and farewell tour.
Looking back, the statement began: “When we started out as five young Dublin Northsiders, eager to face the world, we never imagined that we’d still have an army of fans some twenty-five years later.
“What followed was the stuff of dreams. We’ve played stadiums and arenas all over the world, released six albums, and had almost two-dozen hits.”
The band temporarily split in 2000, with each member focusing on a solo career – with varied success.
After a seven year hiatus, the band re-united in 2007, touring the following year.
Alluding to the death of band member Stephen Gately in 2009, the statement said: “We’ve had some tough times too. The loss of Stephen left scars that we will carry as a band forever.”
Admitting that they’re “not boys anymore” the statement continued: “We all feel that we should now call time on our lives together as Boyzone and go out on a real high.”
The group’s final album, Thank You & Goodnight, will be released in November and includes a tribute song to Gately.
“We came across a demo that he originally recorded for his solo album in 2002 and we’ve had the opportunity to re-work the song and add our harmonies alongside his lead vocal.
“It was a bittersweet experience to hear all our voices together again. It’s the closest the five of us will ever get to being in a room together again making music.”
Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith have also written a song each for the album.
Boyzone will embark on their farewell UK and Ireland arena tour in January.