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Popular Music Duo Civil Wars Break Up, Write Fans A Farewell Song 'You Are My Sunshine'

( [email protected] ) Aug 06, 2014 02:33 PM EDT

The Civil Wars
Joy Williams, left, and John Paul White, right, featured in 2012. (Billboard)

Fans around the world mourn as the popular music duo the Civil Wars have announced their breakup.

The folk duo, who have been on hiatus since 2012, broke the news Tuesday via their website.  

Band member Joy Williams expressed pain at the breakup:

"I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least. JP [fellow band member John Paul White] is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together."

The pair also released a farewell song called "You Are My Sunshine," which is available for download on their website.

"I sincerely hope that 'You Are My Sunshine' will be accepted as a token of my gratitude for every single person that has supported our duo throughout the years. I'm so thankful and my heart is full. Looking ahead, I'm excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I've loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon," Williams continued.

Band member John Paul White also released a statement:

"I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars-from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one."

After meeting on a songwriting project, Williams and White formed the Civil Wars and rose to instant popularity. Their self-titled 2013 album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 116,000 copies moved in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album went gold and they won four Grammy Awards on account of it. The group also released a second album, but did not tour in support of it.

The duo garnered a great deal of criticism from fans after collaborating with songwriter Taylor Swift on "Safe and Sound," which appeared on 2011's The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond.

The band had been on hiatus since Nov. 2012, cancelling their tour over "internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition." However, ironically, the duo added, "Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013."