Irish boy band Westlife, who formed 14 years ago in 1998, has announced that they will go separate ways following the release of a greatest hits collection this Christmas and a farewell tour next year.

The band has had over 20 top-five hits over the years including “Unbreakable”, “Fool Again”, and “Flying Without Wings."

In their 14-year career, the band has sold more than 40 million albums and has had 14 number ones.

Following the band’s break up next year its four members, Nicky Byrne (33), Shane Filan (32), Mark Feehily (31), and Kian Egan (31) will explore "new ventures."

The Sun reports that Byrne is hoping to launch a new career as a radio DJ while Egan is seeking out opportunities in a TV career.

The band has released a statement assuring fans that the break up is an “amicable” one. 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…Over the years, Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family."

A source told the Sun newspaper, “There's no bad blood in the band, they're still great pals. But all good things come to an end and they are all keen to do their own thing.

"It's not something they have done lightly as they are still at the top of their game.

"They could carry on making albums into their old age the way their career has gone, but none of them want to do that."

In the band’s statement they said, “We see the greatest hits collection and the farewell tour as the perfect way to celebrate our incredible career along with our fans.

"We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing our fans one last time.”