And another group bites the dust.
After five years together, British Pop group JLS have announced that they are to go their separate ways.
Full story after the jump…
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, the ‘Beat Again’ singers –Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams, and JB Glll– reveal that their upcoming arena tour will be special in that it will mark their last time as a collective.
Lead singer Aston explained: “It’s just that time. We are still best of friends and always will be — but this is the end.”
While Marvin added: “It’s an emotional time. There’s no getting away from that. We have been through so much together. But we have to be mature and look at this decision as a celebration of what we managed to achieve.
We never wanted to overstay our welcome. We never wanted to be that band where people said, ‘Oh, bloody hell. It’s JLS again.’ We wanted to finish on a high. We’re finishing with an arena tour — our third arena tour — and that is a massive achievement.
The last five or so years have been nothing short of incredible. It has been an incredible journey.
“I’ve got a baby on the way in four weeks, so it’s another celebration for me. But that was also another sign that we were moving on to the next stage in our lives.
We are the first X Factor act to finish a five-year recording contract. If we wanted to carry on and sign to another label, it was going to be another three, four or five albums. So we all thought about it for a few months and it sort of made sense to say we were moving on with our lives.”
Aston, 25, added: “The question was asked, ‘Can you do this together for another five or so years? Can you see that happening?’
“Between the four of us, there was no definite ‘Yes’ in the room. We had to dig deep and find the right solution. We haven’t fallen out. We leave with some amazing successes under our belt and we can say goodbye in style.”
He admitted: “I’m not going to deny it, I’m sad. It has been amazing. I remember that moment in my bedroom when JLS was just an idea and I was determined to make this dream a reality.
They say all good things come to an end and for us it just felt like it was the right time to move forward and pursue different ventures.
We have all become so close, as have our families, so that has been quite hard to deal with. Breaking the news to them was hard, but my mum was proud we did it and we are calling it a day as friends.”
As much as we feel that the group did not fulfil their potential (critically speaking), we must give kudos where due — they had a solid run. Indeed, cheesy or otherwise, few can deny their numbers — namely 10 million records sold, five UK #1 singles, and 1.5 million concert tickets shifted. Not bad for a group who placed second on the 2008 series of The X Factor.
Still, the cynic in us doubts the Disney-esque “natural end” spin being peddled here. For, from our vantage point, there are a number factors that were likely catalysts for the somewhat sad demise of one the UK’s most successful Black groups. The main being the poor performance of their last album ‘Evolution’.
Markedly more “Urban” flavoured and boasting production from a host of US talent, the set seemed to designed to do away with the mozarella-Pop that defined much of their catalogue and clearly had a focus to re-brand the group as “cool”. What’s more, it seemed like a deliberate effort to create a more specific point of difference between them and Sony label-mates One Direction (who had eaten most of the market). Sadly, none of these plans worked.
Add to this the fact that the album’s tanking came at the exact point that they were nearing the end of their five album deal and we’d bet good money that slashed budgets and lower label priority was also a reason why they are no more. If indeed the case, the greatest hits project and sell-out arena tour is a super solid way to spin what ultimately translates as commercial decline.
In any case, enough of my ranting. Two things are clear. JLS are no more and that each member can look back at be somewhat proud. That Grape Juice wishes the guys the best in their future endeavours.