Fans of pop group S Club were heartbroken today, following the news that the band was splitting up.
The six remaining members of the group that used to be known as S Club 7 last night announced to fans at a Docklands Arena concert in London that they would be splitting at the end of May.
The band later said in a statement: “With any job there comes a time to move on and to face new challenges.
“We’ve had a fantastic four years in S Club. We can’t thank each and every one of our fans enough for their constant support and we hope that they will continue to support and understand us.”
On the same night, spin-off band S Club Juniors were renamed S Club 8.
Speculation that S Club would split up mounted after band member Paul Cattermole, 26, left the group last year.
And the debilitating back condition being suffered by lead singer Jo O’Meara, 23, meant that her career in a dance-based pop band would always be limited.
O’Meara and Cattermole – along with Rachel Stevens, 25, Hannah Spearritt, 22, Bradley Mcintosh, 21 Jon Lee, 20, and Tina Barrett, 26, – were picked from nearly 10,000 hopefuls for a place in the band by Spice Girls ex-manager and Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller.
They were a huge success from the start, and their debut single, Bring It All Back, reached No 1 in July 1999.
Several successful TV series, Brit awards and four platinum albums followed. Their first and final movie, Seeing Double, is in cinemas now.
Last year, Don’t Stop Movin’, arguably their most famous hit, won the band a second Brit award, this time for best single.
The band’s squeaky-clean image was tarnished last year when the male band members were cautioned after police arrested them for smoking marijuana in the street.