Westlife to split after 14 years

Westlife Westlife will have a greatest hits album and farewell tour before they split next year

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Westlife are to split "amicably" after 14 years, the band have announced.

The Irish pop group will finish with a farewell tour next year and said they were looking forward to "new ventures".

Westlife - for many years managed by X Factor judge Louis Walsh - have had 14 UK number one hits over the course of their career.

The group said in a statement: "Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family."

The band, whose number one singles have included Swear It Again and Flying Without Wings, has sold more than 44 million records around the world.

They survived the departure of founding member Bryan McFadden in 2004 to continue as a four-piece.

'Amazing journey'

Remaining members Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Nicky Byrne are due to release a greatest hits album on 21 November.

In a statement on their website, the band thanked their fans "who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too".

They said: "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."

In 2001, the band were chosen to record the Comic Relief single, a cover of Billy Joel's Uptown Girl.

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