LONDON: British-Irish boy band One Direction is to take a break next year, two members said on Monday, quickly reassuring the group's passionate fan base that they had no plans to split up.
The comments followed a report in British newspaper The Sun citing a "1D source" that the band was to separate for at least a year, leaving the band's enormous global teenage following devastated.
However, Niall Horan, member of the four-piece boy band, wrote to his 23 million followers on Twitter assuring them that they are not splitting:
Ok so Lots of rumours going round. We are not splitting up, but we will be taking a well earned break at some point next year— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) August 24, 2015
Don't worry though, we still have lots we want to achieve ! Can't wait for you to hear all the new music we have for you and to perform— Niall Horan (@NiallOfficial) August 24, 2015
Read: One Direction to split for a year after new album
Fellow band member Louis Tomlinson, 23, followed suit and sent out a grateful tweet for the support they have received from their fans:
Your support is truly indescribable! It's just a break :) we're not going anywhere !!— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) August 24, 2015
Promise 😊— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) August 24, 2015
and then he added a reassuring "don't worry":
🎶 Don't worry 🎶— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) August 24, 2015
A spokesman for the band had declined to comment on the report in The Sun, which followed speculation the band might break up after popular former member Zayn Malik, 22, quit due to stress in March.
Fans took to social media to express their shock, with Twitter user Lexie Noel posting that "I've never cried harder".
Battle-hardened fans offered advice to those going through their first boy band split.
One Twitter user wrote a comforting tweet for all 1D fans:
It's ok One Direction fans, I went through this with Take That & Boyzone. You may feel like your heart is in a blender, but you can do this.— Lia Louis (@LisforLia) August 23, 2015
- No tour scheduled -
The band is due to release its fifth album before Christmas, and fulfil promotional commitments by the end of February, the report in The Sun said.
There is no tour scheduled for the new album.
One Direction's last scheduled concerts are at the Sheffield Arena in northern England on October 29, 30, 31.
They are currently touring North America and are due to perform in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Put together for a British television singing contest in 2010, Horan, Tomlinson, Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles swiftly developed a giant, fiercely loyal following of young girls worldwide.
Read: One Direction releases first single post Malik's exit
The chart-toppers have sold more than 50 million records around the globe.
Malik has signed a new recording deal as a solo artist since quitting in March.
"I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight," he said at the time.
The Sunday Times newspaper's Rich List 2015 reckoned the band members were worth £25 million ($39 million, 34 million euros) each.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ